The African Platform on Access to Information (APAI), an intercontinental initiative to promote access to information on the continent, took the campaign a step further in its address to the 51st session of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights.
The APAI working group, composed of Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC), Article 19, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Africa Office, The Africa Editors Forum (TAEF), Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC), and Highway Africa, called on the commission to recognise 28 September as International Right to Know Day, as well as for an expansion of article IV of the Declaration of Principles of Expression in Africa to incorporate the principles of the African Platform on Access to Information Declaration.
The APAI working group submission followed a report made by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, Adv. Pansy Tlakula. During her report, the Special Rapporteur bemoaned the slow pace at which states on the continent were enacting Access to Information legislation, and urged the commission to recall Resolution 167 passed by the commission in April 2010. Resolution 167 calls for the more effective realisation of Access to Information in Africa.
During it's submission the APAI working group reiterated Adv. Tlakula's concern that most countries in Africa had still not adopted comprehensive Access to Information laws or regulations, whilst also pointing out that countries with Access to Information laws had not implemented the legislation effectively. The group emphasised that this year would mark the 10th anniversary of the declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa. The anniversary of the declaration presents an opportunity to assess the development of the right to Freedom of Expression and Access to Information on the Continent.
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