Access to Information: An enabling and fundamental human right

Welcome to the African Platform on Access to Information (APAI)

State of Access to Information in Africa 2017

 

As noted, the APAI Declaration was adopted on 19 September 2011, upon a motion for adoption moved by Advocate Pansy Tlakula, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and seconded by Honourable Norris Tweah, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism for the Republic of Liberia.
This research has demonstrated, however, that the document has had impact beyond its mere “declaration”. Members of the APAI Working Group were able to outline the variety of ways this ambitious Declaration has managed to impact domestic environments.

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Who we are

Who we are

The Working Group (WG) of the campaign for an African Platform on Access to Information (APAI) is a network of civil society organisations that are working on the promotion of access to information in Africa.

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14 key principles

The APAI Declaration lists a number of key principles intended to advance the right to access to information in all its dimensions, nationally, regionally, and internationally...

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APAI Declaration

The African Platform on Access to Information (APAI) Declaration was adopted at the Pan African Conference on Access to Information (PACAI) on 19 September 2011,...

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Why it matters

"Information is power. People have to realise that without information they will never be able to better their lives."
Adv. Pansy Tlakula

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African states with ATI laws

Updates

MISA Malawi applauds Parliament for passing Access to Information Bill

Avatar of MISA MISA 10. July 2017 - MISA


MISA Malawi applauds the National Assembly for passing the much-awaited Access to Information (ATI) Bill on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.

We have confidence that President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika will assent to the bill and live up to his election campaign promise that the ATI Bill would be enacted once he is elected into office.

The passing of the Bill is a huge step in the 12-year long process in which various stakeholders led by MISA Malawi campaigned for legislation on access to information.

We commend Parliament for excellently and successfully doing its part of the process. In particular, we hail Members of Parliament for adopting recommendations made by the parliamentary committees on Media and Communications and Legal Affairs when they were entrusted with the responsibility of reviewing the draft bill as gazetted by the government in February this year.

In their report following the review process, the parliamentary committees – among other things, proposed the re-introduction of an independent oversight body to monitor and oversee implementation of the ATI Legislation. They also restored provisions to protect whistle blowers and safeguard the legislation against laws that limit or restrict access, among others.

The provisions were part of the original ATI as drafted by experts and submitted to the government in December 2014 following thorough national wide consultations but were removed by the government prior to the gazetting of the bill in February 2016.

Despite protests from various stakeholders, including MISA Malawi, against the retrogressive changes made in the bill, the government went ahead to table the adulterated bill in Parliament in August this year. Fortunately, the legislators referred the bill to the Media and Communications and Legal Affairs Committees of the House for further review and consultations.

MISA Malawi is now confident to state that the Access to Information law as passed by Parliament this week is in line with the wishes of many Malawians as reflected in the original draft which followed nation-wide consultations over a 12 year period.

Thom Khanje
Chairperson
MISA Malawi

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African states with ATI laws

  • Angola (2002)
  • Burkina Faso (2015)
  • Ethiopia (2008)
  • Guinea (2010)
  • Ivory Coast (2013)
  • Kenya (2016)
  • Liberia (2010)
  • Malawi (2017)
  • Mozambique (2015)
  • Niger (2011)
  • Nigeria (2011)
  • Rwanda (2013)
  • Sierra Leone (2013)
  • South Africa (2000)
  • South Sudan (2013)
  • Sudan (2013)
  • Tanzania (2016)
  • Togo (2016)
  • Tunisia (2016)
  • Uganda (2005)
  • Zimbabwe (2002)