Support countries facing ‘unconstitutional’ takeovers – Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the continued support for African countries facing the resurgence of “unconstitutional changes of government” on the continent.

The President was addressing the 31st forum of the African Peer Review Mechanism Forum.

Over the past two years, a spate of coups and attempted coups have beset the West African region in countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea and most recently, Guinea Bissau.

“The promotion of democracy, human rights and good governance on our continent has become a particularly critical endeavour at this time.

“The resurgence of unconstitutional change of governments in parts of Africa is of concern, and we must continue to support the efforts of the ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] and the AU Peace and Security Council in this regard,” he said.

Turning to the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Ramaphosa said the continent continues to “soldier on” in the face of the economic and social devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Africa and indeed the world, has been engaged in an unprecedented struggle for our very survival. The pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of life and existence, and no sector has been unaffected.

“As much as COVID-19 has altered the human health landscape, it has had political ramifications as well, and will continue to do so for some time in the future. As Africa, a number of our developmental aspirations have been severely set back as we continue to marshal all our resources towards saving lives and protecting livelihoods. All of this notwithstanding, we soldier on, and have now trained our focus on the health, social, economic and political recovery,” he said.

President Ramaphosa highlighted that in a pandemic dominated world, the African Peer Review Mechanism remains integral in the continent’s path for prosperity and good governance.

“The work of the APR Forum has continued throughout the pandemic. This is testament to the resilience and endurance of this mechanism, as well as to the broad support it continues to receive from participating States.

“We know that the African Peer Review Mechanism is integral to our efforts to meet the aspirations of Agenda 2063, of a continent that is integrated, prosperous and peaceful,” he said.

President Ramaphosa said the APRM must be strengthened to ensure that its mission to create political stability, economic growth, integration and sustainable development on the African continent through the sharing of experiences is realised.

“Next year the APRM will be marking its 20th anniversary. We look forward to this, and it is an anniversary of which we can all be proud. Let us continue with the good work and spare no effort to ensure the APRM is strengthened, supported and becomes embedded across the continent,” President Ramaphosa said.