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African Peer

26 April 2017

Humane, compassionate, understanding, empathy, these are some of the traits one should associate with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). A dialogue to create greater awareness about the function of peer review and to celebrate 14 years of the APRM was held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Volunteerism makes The APRM exceptional. It is a discussion to share ideas and knowledge, to lend a sympathetic ear, to find constructive solutions and provide a proactive platform for peers to engage without judgement, debate or argument.

It could be compared to group therapy, a support mechanism for nations subjected to a history of brutalization through slavery, dehumanisation and dispossession and left desperate to survive by any means necessary. This is evident through despotic dictatorships, incomprehensible civil conflicts and genocide. It takes a special kind of understanding and peer support to heal the deep wounds of self-hate, racism and xenophobia.

Peers who have a collective destiny can consult each other openly on shared experiences; provide mentorship or a helping hand. They can cultivate a sense of belonging that brings about responsible and accountable attitudes. That instils courage and a willingness to act, a belief in the ability to perform and achieve.  

The APRM is meant to be facilitative, to identify and resolve situations through a review mechanism, civil engagement and support. It does not hand out accolades nor impose demerits it rather fosters trust, acceptance, dignity and respect.

It could promote the idea of self-government and move away from a punitive system that serves to humiliate, to one that provides guidance and direction. It could be the answer to corruption as preventative laws only leads to more levels and platforms to corrupt.

The APRM is steadily gaining traction as more African nations begin to understand the motivation and inspiration of this unique and innovative African concept.

K Bhana

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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January/February 2020

 
 
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