African leaders agree to use Museveni’s paper on Africa’s problems as development guide
African leaders meeting in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, on Friday agreed to use President Museveni’s paper on “bottlenecks facing Africa’s development” as a blue print to drive the conversation on the continent’s problems.
The decision was reached at by the leaders meeting for the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Intercontinental Hotel, on the sidelines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
President Museveni told the meeting that he had arrived at the 10 bottlenecks after watching the development scene in Africa for 50 years. “I have picked some ideas which are responsible for our lagging behind. The problem seems not to be addressing all issues in a comprehensive way.”
The motion to adopt the paper and task the APRM secretariat to expand it into a blue-print for the continent was moved by South African President Jacob Zuma and was unanimously supported. The proposal had earlier been backed by Senegalese President Macky Sall of Senegal and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in their earlier presentations.
According to President Museveni, Africa’s first bottleneck is ideological disorientation, which had fanned tribal and sectarian conflicts.
“A lot of chaos in Africa is because of misidentification. We need to ask, is identity more important than interests? Ask, who buys what you produce, is it your tribes mate or religious mate?”
The second bottleneck, observed by Mr Museveni, is a weak state exemplified in a weak army, adding that it is a result of the first obstacle.
“When you want to build an army and you look for people from your tribe, you should ask, can a sectarian army command respect of a whole country? In such circumstances, when you get a small rebellion the army collapses. You then bring in the UN who are armed tourists.”
The President commended the international community for speaking about the third bottleneck; human resource underdevelopment. He, however, said the issue had been raised in isolation of the other bottlenecks.
Underdevelopment of infrastructure is the fourth bottleneck, said Mr Museveni. He said many development partners were disinterested in building Africa’s infrastructure especially electricity.
“They do not care about dams, roads and the railway. As a consequence, only South Africa and Libya under Gaddafi had high electricity consumption. Importantly, poor infrastructure causes very high costs of doing business. You can’t attract investments, how then do you eradicate poverty if people are not employed?” he asked.
Because of poor infrastructure, the next bottleneck is failure to industrialize, the President said. This, he added, had forced Africa into exporting raw materials and ultimately donating a lot of revenue to the West.
Citing the Ugandan example where a kilogram of unprocessed exported coffee goes for $1 while the processed coffee in the West fetches $14, President Museveni asserted that Africans were the real donors – and unfortunately were donating their jobs too.
“Colonialism cut Africa into small countries with small populations that are not developed enough to support production. Without a united market you can’t attract investments.”
He commended African leaders for trying to bridge this gap by creating regional blocs and integration hence a bigger market.
The last obstacle, President Museveni noted, was democracy but added that most of Africa had addressed this and it was prevailing across the continent.
The APRM was held ahead of TICAD summit which ended on Sunday.
25th APRM Forum – Communiqué
The 25th Summit of the Heads of State and Government Participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism [APR Forum] was held on 26 August 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, Chairperson of the APR Forum, presided over the Summit.
In his remarks H.E Kenyatta said the presence of his peers at the Forum is proof of their commitment to the cause of improving Africa’s governance, and to the hunger that Africans feel for a leadership that truly represents their interests and their hopes.
"This generation of leaders must rise to that challenge of leadership in the continent. We must show ourselves worthy of the responsibilities that our people have chosen us to undertake,” he urged his peers.
President Uhuru further paid tribute to APRM CEO, Professor Eddy Maloka for the substantial progress he has achieved in revitalizing the mechanism.
“There are few Africans like Prof. Maloka who have shown such intense dedication to good governance on the continent, and fewer still who can match his experience or education. The APRM has been revitalized. For the first time since it was established, it now has a five-year strategic plan,” he remarked. The Plan has been adopted by the Forum.
Speaking at the Forum, the African Union Chairperson, H.E Nkosazana Zuma elaborated on the achievements of the APRM and noted that the Mechanism could be pivotal in monitoring the African Union Agenda 2063 across the Continent through the involvement of the APRM National Structures. She also called on all AU member states to join the Mechanism.
Chairpersons of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons, Dr. Mekideche also presented a Report on the activities of the Panel since the last Summit in January 2016, with a focus on the status of the Country Review Process, challenges encountered, recommendations on the way forward, as well as the two review reports – for Chad and Senegal – which will be presented at the January 2017 Summit.
“The Panel is pleased to report on the substantive work that it has achieved since the last Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Not only have we completed two country review missions in the last six months, for Chad and Senegal. We have also undertaken a Consultative Mission to Kenya for the Country’s Second Generation Review where it was agreed that Kenya would launch a Country Review Mission in October 2016 to allow for the presentation of the Review Report in January 2017,” he said.
Tabled at the Forum was Mozambique 2nd Progress Report on the Implementation of the National Programme of Action (NPoA). The Country’s President H.E. Filipe Nyusi highlighted the achievements made in the areas of Democracy and Political Governance, Economic Governance and Management, Corporate Governance, and Socio-Economic Development.
“Mozambique successfully held both general and local government elections which were internationally acclaimed as free and fair. We have made progress in passing the laws that fight corruptions and have achieved sound economic growth since 2007,” said President Nyusi. In response to the progress report, Presidents in attendance commended the people of Mozambique for their achievements however cautioned that there is still room for the country to improve on their electoral reforms. The Forum further encouraged the Country to continue its efforts in fighting against HIV/AIDS, reducing youth unemployment and promoting access to land in favour of its rural population.
In addition, the Forum deliberated on a presentation by Uganda President H.E Yoweri Museveni which highlighted the 11 Bottlenecks facing Africa’s development. President Museveni urged Africans to put common interests over political identities, religion and tribe.
He said, “lack of infrastructure development, slow human resource development and fragmentation of the African markets by colonization are among the bottlenecks impeding the Continent’s development”; “(i) Ideological disorientation; (ii) Interference with the private sector; (iii) Under-developed infrastructure; (iv) Weak states, especially the Army, Police, etc.; (v) Fragmented markets, market access and expansion; (vi) Lack of industrialization and low value addition; (vii) Underdevelopment of human resources; (viii) Under-development of agriculture; (ix) Underdevelopment of the services sector; (x) Attack on democracy and governance; and (xi) Nonresponsive civil service are all factors that affect negatively on the continent’s development,” said the Ugandan President.
In concluding the Forum undertook the following decisions;
A commitment that APRM member states pay contribution arrears within three years,
Agreed that APRM member states’ annual contribution increase from the current 100,000 USD to 200,000 USD with effect from 2017.
These decisions are a demonstration of commitment to the mechanism. The Forum also agreed to the proposal to declare 2018 “The Year of Universal Accession to the APRM” to get all AU member states to join the mechanism. The following Heads of State and Government attended the 25th APR Forum Summit:
H.E. Johnson SirLeaf, President of the Republic of Liberia;
H.E. Mackay Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal;
H.E. Filipe Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique;
H.E. Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda;
H.E. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa.