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Regional organizations and incentives to improve governance: The APRM experience, with particular reference to Ghana
Sven Grimm & Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi
Source of the information:
Overseas Development Institute
This report reviews the APRM-process in Ghana, which is one of the first three countries to complete the process. It finds that though the guidelines are basic and the continental institutions for overseeing the APRM process are relatively weak, the clearly African-driven nature of these regional bodies gives them potential tofoster incentives for leaders to improve governance.
According to the report, the case of Ghana offers lessons on the promise and shortcomings of the process, and is generally perceived so far as the best-practice example of APRM assessment. As front-runner of the APRM, Ghana set fairly high standards for the review.
The Ghana APRM report addresses problems at the various levels of the political system without shying away from criticisms and raising pertinent issues in the area of human rights. The politically-sensitive issue of corruption at various levels of the governance structures and processes in the country, for instance, is given considerable attention, together with detailed recommendations.
However, the implementation of the APRM recommendations and national programme of action to redress the problems diagnosed in the Ghana APRM Country Report remains unsatisfactory. Perhaps incentives for credible implementation can only be created through several rounds of critical reviews of the process, however this has yet to take place as the process is fairly new. The experience of Ghana indicates that civil society groups lack both the requisite information and capacity to effectively play a watchdog role over the implementation process.
This paper is largely based on research conducted in the context of a DIE country working group in Ghana between February and April 2007, during which roughly 60 interviews were conducted with key stakeholders of the Ghanaian APRM process.