About Africa Freedom of Information Centre

Africa Freedom of Information Centre “AFIC” is a pan-African NGO and resource centre that promotes the right of access to information through comparative research, coordinating regional advocacy, facilitating information-sharing and capacity building.

Our Vision

AFIC (Africa Freedom of Information Centre) is a membership civil society organization promoting the right of access to information. We strive to become a reliable, dependable and all round freedom of information support centre on the African continent.

Created by the Lagos Declaration

Our History

On 22-23 September 2006, representatives of 30 civil society organisations from 16 countries in Africa met in Lagos to discuss ways to promote the right of access to information held by public authorities and, in particular, to share experiences regarding strategies for advancing the adoption of laws that fully protect this right.

The Regional Workshop on Freedom of Information in Africa was organized by Media Rights Agenda (MRA) in collaboration with the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) and received expert presentations from Freedom of Information advocates from Albania, Bulgaria, and the United States.

Regional Freedom of Information Centre

In order to provide a platform for cooperation and collaborative activities among civil society organizations in the region, the participants agree to establish a regional Freedom of Information Centre in Africa, where experiences garnered in the different countries can be pooled and shared among civil society activists and which will provide technical assistance to organizations involved in any stage of Freedom of Information advocacy or implementation.

Observations and Resolutions

The participating organizations expressed concern that Africa is lagging behind in the global movement towards the adoption of Freedom of Information Laws.

The organisations hereby:

  • Recall African instruments such as the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, which requires States Parties to adopt measures that guarantee access to information; the Treaty of ECOWAS, which encourages the free flow of information within national borders as well as regional cooperation in the area of information; and the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa, issued by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which affirms that “public bodies hold information not for themselves but as custodians of the public good and everyone has a right to access this information”;
  • Call on governments to guarantee and respect the right of access to information consistent with African and international law and best practice;
  • Note with concern the increasing tendency to view access to information as a threat to public safety and security;
  • Affirm that access to information is essential for the protection of other human rights and contributes to accountability, social stability, security and economic development;
  • Note the value of access to information in the fight against corruption, as recognized by international treaties;
  • In particular, urge all countries in Africa to sign and ratify instruments such as the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the UN Convention Against Corruption, which require States Parties to adopt measures that guarantee access to information.

Download the pdf Lagos Declaration at the Regional Workshop on FOI in Africa-2006 (61 KB)

Governing Council/ Board

Mr Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai
Chairperson
Society for Democratic Initiatives, Sierra Leone www.sfdi-sl.org
Ms Anne Nedri
Vice Chairman
The Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists, Kenya www.icj.kenya.org
Ms. Zoe Titus
Treasurer
Media Institute for Southern Africa, Namibia www.misa.org
Gilbert Sendugwa
Secretary
Africa Freedom of Information Centre www.africafoicentre.org
Mr. Henri Maina
Member
Article 19 East Africa, Kenya www.article19.org
Mr Henri Christian Longendja
Member
Comité des Droit de l’Homme et Développement, DRC
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