An Action Conference on Access to Information was opened this morning in Lusaka, Zambia by the Country’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting. He reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to pass an FOI law. This conference- which brings together approximately 150 right to information stakeholders from government, civil society, media, private sector, academia, donor community, regional and international organisations- aims to reflect on the domestication of the African Platform on Access to Information (APAI), Open Government Partnership (OGP) and other initiatives on the African continent.
The Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC), member of the APAI Working Group, has been actively involved in the campaign to promote the APAI Declaration in Africa and beyond. For example, AFIC participated in the drafting of the Carthage Declaration on World Press Freedom Day 2012 which calls on governments to endorse APAI and recognise September 28 as Right to Information Day. APAI sets out a number of principles that are key for the full realisation of the right of access to information.
At this regional conference taking place on the eve of right to know day celebrations, AFIC’s Head of Secretariat, Gilbert Sendugwa, moderated the first session on Regional Developments and their Implications for the ATI Policy Agenda. He will be presenting a paper on Advancing the Regional ATI Agenda during the 3rd session.
In a stimulating intervention by Mukelani Dimba, Executive Director of the Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC), member of the APAI Working Group, he reminded participants of the different areas of application of the APAI Declaration –education, elections, natural resources and environment, gender, health -and its domestication at national level taking into account the unique challenges of the African continent.