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Opening remarks by President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Peer Review Forum at the 31st African Peer Review Forum of Heads of State and Government

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Your Excellency and my dear brother Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic,
Republic of Congo and Chair of the African Union,
Your Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chair of the African Union Commission,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government of participating states to the APRM,
Honourable members of the APRM Focal Points Committee,
Honourable members of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons,
Chief Executive Officer of the APRM Continental Secretariat, Professor Eddy Maloka,
Partners and friends,
Guests, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning,

I would like to welcome you all to this 31st Summit of the African Peer Review Forum.

That we are meeting virtually is once more a stark reminder of the times we are living in.

Last month we marked two years since the first case of COVID-19 was reported by the World Health Organization.

Since then, Africa and indeed the world, has been engaged in an unprecedented struggle for our very survival. The pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of life and existence, and no sector has been unaffected.

As much as COVID-19 has altered the human health landscape, it has had political ramifications as well, and will continue to do so for some time in the future.

As Africa, a number of our developmental aspirations have been severely set back as we continue to marshal all our resources towards saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

All of this notwithstanding, we soldier on, and have now trained our focus on the health, social, economic and political recovery.

The work of the APR Forum has continued throughout the pandemic. This is testament to the resilience and endurance of this mechanism, as well as to the broad support it continues to receive from participating States.

We know that the African Peer Review Mechanism is integral to our efforts to meet the aspirations of Agenda 2063, of a continent that is integrated, prosperous and peaceful.

In this regard I wish to thank the Chair of the AU President Tshisekedi as well as the Chair of the AU Commission His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat for their support, counsel and guidance as we steer the APR Forum through these extremely choppy waters.

I also want to welcome and congratulate the Republic of Burundi that will be acceding to the APRM at this Forum and joining us as a new member of the mechanism.

This Summit will be considering a number of items and recommendations emanating from the 34th meeting of the APRM Committee of Focal Points that took place last month.

We will be peer reviewing a number of countries that have undergone extensive APRM review processes, namely the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of Niger and the Republic of South Africa.

It is a source of pride to us as South Africa that we were able to complete our country review during our tenure as Chair of the APR Forum.

This Summit will also be considering the Targeted Review of the Republic of Kenya as well as the progress report of the Republic of Uganda.

An opportunity will also be afforded to the President of the Republic of Djibouti, His Excellency Ismaïl Omar Guelleh to present his statement on the Targeted Review of his country, following on the 29th APR Forum Summit in February 2020.

It is pleasing to note that the Africa Governance Report 2021 is ready and will be presented to the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU that opens tomorrow.

Our collective thanks go to the APRM Continental Secretariat and the other institutions of the African Governance Architecture Platform for developing and submitting this important report.

I also wish to thank all who have played such an important role in steering the APRM processes during this time.

Our thanks go to the Minister of Public Service and Administration of the Republic of South Africa, to the APR Panel of Eminent Persons led by Ambassador Ombeni Sefue; to the Chief Executive Officer of the APRM Continental Secretariat Prof. Eddy Maloka and his team; as well as to our strategic partners.

Thanks to your efforts, the APRM review processes continue to be characterised by integrity, independence, professionalism and credibility.

The promotion of democracy, human rights and good governance on our continent has become a particularly critical endeavour at this time.

The resurgence of unconstitutional change of governments in parts of Africa is of concern, and we must continue to support the efforts of the ECOWAS and the AU Peace and Security Council in this regard.

Next year the APRM will be marking its 20th anniversary. We look forward to this, and it is an anniversary of which we can all be proud.

Let us continue with the good work and spare no effort to ensure the APRM is strengthened, supported and becomes embedded across the continent.

I thank you.