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General News
Two Leaders Commend President Kufuor 1/29/2007
South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday commended President J. A. Kufuor for spearheading the process of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in Ghana.

They made the commendation after Mr Kufuor had presented the first annual report of the implementation of the Ghana Programme of Action under the APRM.

The President presented a 60-page report on the programme of action at the APRM summit in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, as a prelude to the African Union Summit which opens today.

In a telephone interview with Mr Andrew Awuni, the Press Secretary to the President and Presidential Spokesperson, from Addis Ababa, he said the President’s address received an enthusiastic acclaim from the African leaders, particularly President Obasanjo and President Mbeki.

President Mbeki described the report as well-focused and excellent. He also expressed surprise at the volume of work that had been done by the Kufuor government.

For his part, President Obasanjo urged Ghana to move along the path of good governance and democracy to improve the lives of the people.

He said the APRM was meant to assist those who had been reviewed in order to improve upon their present circumstances.

President Obasanjo urged those not yet reviewed to learn from the enviable example of Ghana. He said APRM was not a process to find fault with any country, but a learning process geared towards good governance.

Mr Awuni said the President in his address pledged Ghana’s commitment to the tenets of the APRM and indicated his willingness to achieve the goals in the review process.

He said the President’s speech, which received wild applause from his counterparts at the summit, touched on good governance, political stability, decentralisation, land and chieftaincy issues, and gender issues.

The President also touched on the economy, child trafficking, education and health. President Kufuor said some of the recommendations on the review process had been implemented while others were ongoing.

He mentioned the Whistle Blowers Act and the Freedom of Information Bill as some of the major strides made and being made by the government to enhance good governance.

Mr Awuni also said the President mentioned the support to governance institutions, such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Judiciary, as part of the bold attempts by the government to ensure transparency and accountability in governance.

He said the President also touched on efforts to improve security in the country and mentioned improved logistical support to the security agencies as a means of fighting crime.

In an effort to enhance the quality of governance in Africa, the sixth summit of the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) held in Abuja, Nigeria, in March 2003, adopted a memorandum of understanding of the APRM.

Ghana was among the first four countries in which reviews were launched. The APRM requires that the participating country should conduct an independent self assessment of its governance record and in this regard the National APRM Governing Council, chaired by Prof. S.K. Agyepong, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast and currently President of the Methodist University College, was inaugurated in March 2004.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President Kufuor urged them to “prick the conscience of the nation” in their work.

In January last year, Ghana’s democratic process under the APRM was reviewed in Khartoum, Sudan

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