March 19, 2004

No rush on peer review, says Government

As Government has held, there is no rush for Namibia to accede to the peer review mechanism (PRM) of the New Partnership for African Development (Nepad). Speaking in the National Assembly, Foreign Affairs Minister Hidipo Hamutenya said that Namibia was "not shy" when it came to having its political and economic performance reviewed, but that it first had to see how the mechanism would be implemented. He was responding to a request by Congress of Democrats (CoD) leader Ben Ulenga that Government state its position on the PRM.

The PRM is intended to promote good governance, sustainable development and accelerate regional and continental economic integration through shared experiences and best practices. Hamutenya said given that the mechanism was voluntary, and that to date only about 16 of the African Union's 53 member states had signed up, Namibia need not be hasty in deciding whether or not to accede to the process. "We have absolutely nothing to hide about our performance. Therefore, no one should get the wrong idea that Namibia is afraid to be reviewed," Hamutenya explained.

The Minister said considering that AU member states were at different levels of development, and had different forms of government, the challenge of reviewing their performance was daunting. He said Government was still studying the PRM and waiting to see how it would work in practice. "When we have done so and have satisfied ourselves about the efficacy of the mechanism, we will make a decision one way or the other," Hamutenya said. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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