Access to Information: An enabling and fundamental human right


State of Access to Information in Africa 2017

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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APAI Information Pack

Acknowledging access to information as a catalyst for accountability, transparency, good governance, as well as the enjoyment of other fundamental rights, the APAI Declaration emphasises the importance of a right to information for all citizens.

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The Public’s Right to Know: Principles on Right to Information Legislation, Article 19

These Principles were originally developed in 1999 and updated in 2015. They have been endorsed by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, in his report to the 2000 Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (E/CN.4/2000/63), and referred to by the Commission in its 2000 Resolution on freedom of expression, as well as by his successor in 2013 in his report to the UN General Assembly in 2013 (A/68/362, 4 September 2013).

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The Public’s Right to Know: Principles on Right to Information Legislation, Article 19 (French)

French Version

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The Public’s Right to Know: Principles on Right to Information Legislation, Article 19 (Arabic)

Arabic Version

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Access to Information in the fight against fistula, Article 19 (French)

La place de l'a ccès à l'information dans la lutte contre la fistule obstétricale dans la région de Tambacounda

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Heroes Under Fire - South African Whistleblower Stories, ODAC

When we consider the actual experiences of citizens who blow the whistle in South Africa, it becomes clear that the ambitious constitutional principles that promote transparency are not enough to create a safe environment for those that speak out on wrongdoing.  Whistleblowers in South Africa make decisions to blow the whistle based on their strong desire for justice, but because of these acts can become isolated and vulnerable.

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MISA Transparency Assessment 2016

2016 Report on Open & Secretive Public Institutions in Southern Africa

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State of Right to Information in Africa, AFIC Report 2015

Africa Freedom of Information Centre is a pan-African civil society organisation and resource centre that promotes the right of access to information on the continent through comparative research, coordinating regional advocacy, facilitating information-sharing and capacity building. AFIC is a membership organization with 33 civil society organisational members in 21 African countries that started operations in 2010.

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Access to Information in Africa: Examining Progress since the APAI Declaration, 2013

Examining progress since the APAI Declaration
In order to further the ambitions of the APAI working group, in 2013 we undertook research – based upon the expertise and experience of our working group on access to information (ATI) issues in the region – which set out to provide a basic assessment on the state of access to information on the continent as a general reflection on the environment since the passage of the APAI Declaration on 19 September 2011.

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Access to Information - As a Tool for Socio-Economic Justice, ACTION

It has been asserted that the 21 st century will be, or is, the African century. This assertion is supported to some extent by economic growth figures that show Africa is enjoying some of the highest levels of economic growth in the world.

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State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014, Africa Freedom of Information Centre

The State of Right to Information in Africa 2014 is the first issue of an annual reflection on the progresses on the fundamental human right.

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Campaign Materials

APAI Human Rights Day Poster

The right to access to information is a human right and also a precondition for claiming otherhuman rights. Information is an asset that can be utilised to better lives, improve societies, and  fight discrimination, corruption, as well as unlawful refusal of access to services and aid. Quite simply, information and knowledge are central to democracy. They are the conditions for sustainable development.

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Read APAI Declaration here

African Platform on Access to Information
PDF, 220 KB

Plateforme africaine sur l’accès à l’information
PDF, 222 KB

المنهاج الأفرٌقً المعنً بالح صول ع لى ا لمعلومات

PDF, 540 KB

Plataforma Africana para Acesso à Informação
PDF, 211 KB