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General News Mon, 13 Mar 2006

NEPAD's peer review a 'sham' - Namibia

Windhoek - Namibia has dismissed the African Peer Review Mechanism of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) as a "sham".

The mechanism enables African governments to monitor each other's governance and to name and shame states that fail to perform.

South Africa is currently undergoing peer review. Last year Ghana and Rwanda were reviewed, but the results have not yet been made public.

Namibia has never been keen on peer review and at the weekend its foreign affairs minister, Marco Hausiku, said his government fully backed Nepad, but had "consigned the (mechanism) to the dustbin of history as a sham".

He said African countries should not be compelled to participate and would not allow countries to dictate the process. This apparently referred to a perception that the African Union had only adopted peer review under pressure from donor nations.

Hausiku said Namibia would not sell its soul to reap financial benefits from the developed countries, adding that the Namibian economy was growing even before the inception of Nepad.

However, the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (Nepru) has encouraged the government to participate, saying the country already meets most of the conditions.

By participating, Nepru said, Namibia would see a positive impact in getting development partners and investors to boost economic growth and assist the government in strengthening capacity to implement its policies.

The Namibian National Society for Human Rights has said the country's continued reluctance to embrace the review mechanism dealt a "further lethal blow to its phony image" that it was a model for democracy and respect for human rights. - Foreign Service

This article was originally published on page 7 of Cape Times on March 13, 2006

Source: Cape Times
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