Call for more access to information in Africa

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER

THE African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) has called on the 36 African countries that have no laws guaranteeing the promotion and protection of citizens access to information to urgently adopt them.

In a statement to commemorate the International Day for Universal Access to Information, the ACHPR called for a renewed commitment to creating an environment where the right of access to information is promoted, protected and realized.

“In these unprecedented times during the Covid-19 pandemic, the significance of the right of access to information cannot be overstated. The uncertainty and disruption wrought by the pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of fundamental human rights, not least of which is the right of access to information.

“It is for this reason that the Commission adopted the Model Law on Access to Information in Africain order to assist African States in the formulation, adoption, or alternatively review, of access to information legislation and to ensure effective implementation of the laws.

When the process of drafting the Model Law Project started, only five countries on the African continent had adopted access to information Laws. However, at least 24 states in Africa have enacted access to information laws,” the ACHPR said in a statement.

The International Day for Universal Access to Information was proclaimed on October 15, 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly, following the initial designation of the day by the UNESCO General Conference in November 2015.