PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has called for the revision of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and reflect on its original objects of the governance tool of the African Continent to bring it in line with the current challenges the Continent is facing.
He said as African Leaders were reflecting on the success of the APRM, it was important for the leaders on the Continent to appreciate the nature of the shortcomings that Africa was currently experiencing.
President Lungu said the APRM initiative which was adopted 12 years ago was meant to improve the status of governance in Africa for the benefit of the Continent’s citizenry.
In his intervention statement on revisiting the philosophy of APRM in Addis Ababa on Friday, President Lungu stated that African leaders should not forget that there had been great transition from the original leadership of the pioneers of APRM which he said could have left gaps that needed recapitulation.
The Head of State said it was prudent for African leaders to revisit the original thoughts of the pioneers of APRM so as not to lose their vision.
He said it was the duty of African leaders to give practical testimonies of what APRM had helped the Continent to achieve as Africa was revisiting the philosophy of the mechanism.
President Lungu stated that Zambia had scored remarkable success as a result of the review mission that assessed the country in 2011 adding that some of the achievements included the expansion of the Social Cash Transfer to 50 districts from the previous 11 before the country was assessed.
He said the beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer included households headed by the elderly, widows, children, disabled or chronically ill individuals who were in need of basic social protection.
Mr Lungu said Government had responded to the review and initiated the Link Zambia 8000 programme which he said had started opening access to markets for small scale businessmen and women and had created over 24 000 jobs throughout the country.
“In 2011, the country review mission observed that Zambia had ratified the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) but the attainment of gender party and increasing levels of women representation in politics and decision-making positions remained a challenge. At that time we had 14 percent of Cabinet Ministers and I am glad that Zambia has upped the number of women Cabinet Ministers to 27 percent and that notably our Vice-President is a lady,” President Lungu said.
He said Africa should not forget that having challenges in an undertaking such as the APRM was normal, adding that challenges should be viewed as stepping stones to better life and prosperity.
President Lungu stated that the nature of challenges APRM was facing were not insurmountable and that it was important for African leaders to have a strong belief that the desired solutions were within reach.