After years of abject reluctance, Gambia has finally joined the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), becoming its 37th member.
Introduced in 2003, the APRM is a mutually agreed instrument to which member nations of the African Union voluntarily signed up to as a self-monitoring mechanism to encourage conformity with political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards, among member countries.
Gambia’s accession to the APRM which was confirmed by AU officials on Saturday signals a further departure from the policies of the past when the country had overlooked joining such a mechanism for more than a decade.
Former president Yahya Jammeh who lost power in 2016, had ignored repeated calls to sign up to the APRM, not seeing it as a priority by his government.
His reluctance prompted widespread local and international criticism to the effect that his reputation as leader was at odds with the guiding principles of the APRM which periodically reviews the good governance portfolios of its members.
Some of the AU’s 33 members that signed up to the MOU establishing the APRM are Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, Ethiopia, Algeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Malawi, Mauritius, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.