The African Peer Review Mechanism: Can it really change African governance?
Ross Herbert, Head, Governance and APRM Programme of the South African Institute of International Affairs, Johannesburg
Ross Herbert and Steven Gruzd's in-depth book on the African Peer Review Mechanism has just been published. The APRM is perhaps the most ambitious social and diplomatic experiment mounted by the continent. It began in 2002 with great hopes of improving African governance. It was tied to the idea of the big push - advanced by Nepad, Jeffrey Sachs and others - under which Africa would improve its performance in exchange for more aid, trade and debt relief. Has the grand bargain worked? What has been learned about the practicalities of this complex process? Can civil society and the APRM's visiting experts really convince governments to reform? Have governments been willing to face full and honest scrutiny or attempted to control the process?