The African Union has named Nigeria’s Coordinator/ Chief Executive Officer, African Union Development Agency- New Partnership for Africa’s Development/African Peer Review Mechanism (AUDA-NEPAD/APRM), Princess Gloria Akobundu, as member of the AU- APRM Taskforce Committee on Governance response to COVID-19 and other pandemics.
The AU-APRM Taskforce committee, which is expected to, among others, generate ideas on how member states could mitigate the impact of COVID-19, other pandemics and avert future emergencies in the continent, held its inaugural meeting on April 27, 2020.
A statement by Akobundu’s media aide, Abolade Ogundimu, said the online meeting, was chaired by Committee’s Chairperson, Prof. Fatima Karadja(Algeria) who is also the Chairperson, APRM Panel of Eminent Persons; with Prof. Eddy Maloka (CEO, APRM Continental Secretariat) ; Ambassador Ashraf Rashed (Egypt); Akobundu (Nigeria) and other members, selected from APRM active states in attendance.
Akobundu noted that the committee has potential to alleviate problems associated with research and its validation; industrialisation, data generation and analysis, food production, strategic partnership, among others.
She added: “This committee will help member states to further compare notes on how to battle COVID-19 and other pandemics decimating the people, while also mitigating their impact on the economy.
“It may also be a veritable platform to further work out how skills acquisition centres and technology hubs can become integral part of rural/urban societies, while creating awareness and sensitising the public on pandemics and safety measures.
“If such goal can be achieved, African nations will be less dependent on foreign products that are made of African resources,” she said.
Akobundu stressed that if African states were less dependence on foreign products, it would be able to grow its economy for sustainable development.
While applauding the continental initiative on the COVID-19 pandemic, Akobundu equally hailed the efforts of the various task forces on COVID-19 at state levels and national levels in the country, particularly the one headed by Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The four thematic areas of APRM,binding on all the AU-APRM member states are : Democracy and Political Governance; Economic Governance and Management; Corporate Governance and ;Socio-economic Development.
It will be recalled that Nigeria has commenced the process of Second Cycle Review of the country before the COVID-19 lockdown.