The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, Advocate Pansy Tlakula has commended Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) and other civil society organisations for the work the organisation is doing in promoting the right to information in Africa. Advocate Tlakula was presenting her activity report during the 52nd Ordinary Session of ACHPR held in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire from October 9-22, 2012.
AFIC has worked with the African Commission in the development and eventual adoption of the African Platform on Access to Information (APAI) declaration, consultations on the draft Access to Information Model Law for African Union member states, promotion of ratification of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as well as other regional treaties guaranteeing the right to information. Other areas of collaboration have been in reviewing draft bills, analysis of RTI laws, research as well as regional advocacy.
AFIC is the largest membership pan-African civil society organisation solely dedicated to the promotion of the right to information in Africa. It currently has 26 civil society members spread across 16 African countries. Over the past three years the organisation has conducted research projects in Senegal, Mali and Uganda to build knowledge base on the right to information in Africa. It has also provided technical assistance in reviewing draft RTI bills to members and partners in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Botswana, Kenya, Zambia, DR Congo and the ECOWAS draft regional framework treaty of Freedom of Expression and Access to Information. It has also analysed existing RTI laws of Angola, Zimbabwe, Guinea and Niger on the basis of regional and international standards.
With its Observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and membership to the African Union-European Union civil society steering committee AFIC has actively promoted the right to information with intergovernmental organisations and processes.
AFIC is currently promoting the civil society engagement with the Open Government Partnership, endorsement and utilisation of principles of APAI declaration, development of national security and right to information principles, open contracting, ratification of regional RTI treaties as well as capacitating its members and partners in mainstreaming RTI in respective programmes.