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AFIC Welcomes the New Governing Council

On 27th January 2022, the Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) a pan African membership civil society network and resource center promoting the right of access to information welcomed a new Governing Council. The election occurred during the 5th General Assembly held virtually on the 27th January 2022. The new Governing Council is comprised of seven elected members, and it is chaired by a female. This brings to AFIC another fresh wave of management and brings to function gender equality.

The new Governing Council members join AFIC from unique backgrounds of experience, bringing with them respective expertise in leadership and management, advocacy & promotion of the right to information, transparency, and accountability. The AFIC membership is very pleased to associate with this leadership.

Meet the Governing Council:

Fatou Jagne, Article 19, is the first female Chairperson. She has over 20 years’ professional experience working on human rights in Africa with civil society, governments, and IGO. For many years, she oversaw Article 19’s work in West Africa. She has established the regional office of Article 19 for West Africa in Senegal which she heads. She has delivered technical assistance to governments on human rights, reform of media law policies and freedom of expression, and access to information on the African Continent. Prior to Article 19, she worked for the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa and developed inter alia programmes for the judiciary and legal practitioners in the Gambia. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Gambia Radio and Televisions Services and a member of several boards and committees of human rights institutions in Africa and adviser to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR). She is the Founder of the Center for Women Rights and Leadership in the Gambia (CWRL). She holds an (LLM) in Economic and Communication Law, a master’s degree in International and European Law, a Bachelor of Law (civil law) at the University of Toulouse, Capitole and a Bachelor of English Language Specialty Law, at the Institute for languages and Civilizations. She received many distinctions and awards for her human rights work: these include, the French National Order of Merit (Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite) in 2018, the Shield Awards for West Africa by the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network in 2019 in recognition of her human rights contribution in West Africa, and in 2020 the Press Freedom Hero by the Gambia Press Union.

Tabani Moyo, MISA, the Vice-Chairperson, has over 15 years of experience in media development, communications, journalism, marketing, and business administration. He is the current the Regional Director for the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), a media advocacy and lobby network with a presence in eight (8) African countries. He has served for boards in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa, Africa and globally in those past 15 years. He is a board member at the IFEX, a global network that defends freedom of expression. At IFEX, he chairs the governance committee for the board. He is also a member of the African Commission on Human & People’s Rights’ Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and access to information. Further, he was one of the six-member technical committee members that supported the previous Special Rapporteur on expression, Commissioner Mute in successfully reviewing the Declaration of Principles of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression to include the internet as a right in 2018. In 2021, in commemoration of the Windhoek Declaration on Independent and Diverse Media, he was appointed the moderator of the African Forum that reviewed the declaration and came up with the Windhoek Declaration on independent and diverse media +30 which adopts to the changes that to place for the past 30 years when the declaration was crafted and endorsed by the peoples of the world. The session took place from the 29th to the 30th of April 2021. Through hosting the annual regional multi-stakeholder’s internet governance forum, he has been leading a team that has shaped the regulation of the internet in southern Africa. In addition, he has been instrumental in challenging internet shutdowns in Southern Africa mainly in Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Democratic Republic of Congo. This is in addition to shaping the global agenda on media platforms as a key resource person and expert in the subject matter He is a qualified journalist, marketer, and business administrator, and is currently studying towards Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) focusing on the impact of social blogs on reputation management in the telecommunications industries in Southern Africa. He is a fellow and chartered marketer with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) (UK); holds MBA; Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing; BA Media Studies; BBA Marketing and diploma in journalism and communications.

Tabani brings the depth of exposure in high level engagements and appreciation of serving diverse membership to the AFIC membership.

“I am very happy to join the Africa Freedom of Information Centre Governing Council after the successful holding of its elective AGM yesterday (27/01/22). Special thanks to the previous board and the membership of this ATI movement for according me and my colleagues an opportunity to serve.”

Thandizo Safuli Mphwiyo, CHRR, the treasurer has over 10 years’ experience in Gender and Development issues through NGO work. Thandizo is resourceful, goal oriented, personable, hardworking, analytical and proactive individual with extensive experience in Development issues, like women’s and girl’s rights, HIV and AIDS, adult and adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, democracy and good governance and other crosscutting developmental challenges in Malawi and similar contexts and their impact on the realization of human rights and gender equality. Thandizo has been a seasoned Gender Activist for over a decade of service in different portfolios both at CHRR and outside the Organization. At CHRR, Thandizo has been part of management, providing technical leadership and guidance for the Organization. Currently, Thandizo heads the Programs Department and provides technical support to all programs that the Centre is executing. Outside the organization she is also serving as a Board member for the NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) where she heads the Women in Politics and Decision Making (WPDM) Permanent Committee. NGO GCN is an umbrella body for all CSO’s that deal with issues in Malawi. My role involves lobbying and advocating for increased numbers and inclusion of women in decision-making positions in public life. During her reign she has contributed to increased number of female legislatures in Parliament which is currently at 23%.

Malcolm Joseph, Centre for Media Studies and Peace Building, a Member, is the Executive Director of the Center for Media Studies &Peace Building, a leading Media development, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information NGO in Liberia. A professional journalist and civil society activist, He also leads civil society efforts on Access to Information, and Freedom of Expression initiatives in Liberia. He has been influential in the development of the Access to Information and media law reform processes in Liberia. He has held important portfolios, including Vice President, Press Union of Liberia, Vice President, WAJA, Regional Executive Committee Member, West African Civil Society Forum, member Panel of Experts, 2003 IFJ Journalist of Tolerance Award for West and Central Africa. He currently serves as Chairman of the Liberia Freedom of Information Coalition, Chairman of the Liberia Media Law and Policy Reform Working Group and a University Instructor. Joseph holds MPA in Public Sector Management, MA International

Beauty Emefa Narteh, GACC, is a member of the Governing Council. She is the Executive Secretary of Ghana Anti – Corruption Coalition (GACC) since January 2017. Prior to this, she served as the Acting Executive Secretary and Communications Officer of GACC. She is a member of the High-Level Implementation Committee (HiLiC) of Ghana’s National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), a Co-Chair of the Ghana CSO Platform on SDGs, Convener for SDG Sub Platform 16, Vice Chair of the Alliance for Integrity Steering Committee, and a Steering Committee Member of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) Local Network. She is also a Steering Committee member and the current host of the Economic Governance Platform (formerly CSO Platform on the IMF). She has over fifteen (15) years’ experience in communications, advocacy, resource mobilization, coordination, facilitation, and project management. With practical field experiences from diverse development issues, in the areas of good governance, anti-corruption, the socially disadvantaged, sustainable forest management and gender. She has also managed projects funded by the World Bank, [ A pool fund set up by DIFD, USAID, DANIDA and EU]STAR-Ghana, LOGODEP[ The Local Governance and Decentralization Program (LOGODEP) is a collaborative program between Management Systems International (MSI), and SNV with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)], OSIWA, British High Commission, CFLI and KASA/CARE, among others. She also served as the Project Manager for a World Bank funded West Africa Contract Monitoring Network (WACMN) in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia from December 2010 – June 2014. She holds a master’s degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Communications and Development, and a graduate Certificate in women’s Studies from Ohio University, USA. And Certificate in Executive Communications and Governance Reform from the World Bank and Annenberg School, USA.

Elumbu Lifongo Trésor, COLLECTIF 24, is a member of the Governing Council. He works as Communication Officer at COLLECTIF 24, a platform of Congolese Civil Society Organizations created in 2013 mainly to support advocacy for the access to information law. Elumbu Lifongo Trésor holds a CCNP master’s degree in Cisco Network from the University of Australia, and a diploma in Computer Science from the Higher Institute of Computer Science, Programming and Analysis (ISIPA).

Dr. Joseph Ryarasa Nkurunziza, Never Again Rwanda, is a member of the Governance Council. He is a medical doctor, public health practitioner and a social justice activist with over 18 years of experience in the civil society sector. Nkurunziza is a founder & Executive Director of Never Again Rwanda, a peacebuilding and social justice organization that arose following the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. He is the Chairperson of the Rwanda Civil Society Platform, a National network for Rwanda National civil society organizations with the ultimate purpose to amplify the voice of civil society and citizens on a wide range of issues in development, governance, human rights and democracy as well as environment.  Nkurunziza also serves as the co-founder and board director of both the Health Development Initiative Rwanda and the Center for Public Health and Development, organizations committed to improving the health of vulnerable populations across Rwanda and East Africa. He has promoted discussions on the causes and consequences of genocide and conflicts at the national and international level. In his work, he focuses on health, peace building and social justice that will give young people the guidance, encouragement, and knowledge they need to be active citizens. In 2010 he received the 10 Top Young outstanding Person by JCI. He also an alumni of the Draper hills CDDRL fellowship Program.

In her remarks, the new Chairperson, Ms. Fatou Jagne, thanked the members of the GA, and the newly elected Governing Council for being present and electing the first female chairperson of AFIC. With pleasure and responsibility, she pledged to carry out her new role. The Chairperson thanked the members of the GA and applauded them for being such an enthusiastic body across the continent, pursuing the common goals of Access to Information and encouraged them to continue the mission for the common interest. The Chairperson strongly believes that such an organization is key to supporting the partners locally and their initiatives and worldwide for human rights issues critical for this period. The new chairperson is happy to uphold AFIC values and believes that an organization as AFIC is key to support partners locally, their initiative promoting human rights, initiatives that are more than ever critical in today’s spirit of time. She also pledged to put all her energy into AFIC to ensure that it continues to resonate worldwide. She is delighted by everyone’s trust and looks forward to working with AFIC members to strengthen the organization. She hopes that we will all work closely to reach the common goals of ATI, transparency, accountability, and member strengthening to enable every citizen of the Pan African continent to exploit their full potential. 

The outgoing chairperson, Mr. Emmanuel Saffa Abdullai congratulated the new chairperson upon her well-deserved win as Chairperson of the Governing Council. He indicated that he is persuaded that she and the team will strengthen AFIC despite the difficult circumstances as a result of the pandemic. He thanked the secretariat and the outgoing council members for their marvelous work and time spent for the cause. He hoped and prayed that the new Governing Council would increase and permit AFIC and its values to shine across the continent. He was more delighted to hand over office to a female Chairperson, in the interest of gender equality.

“I stepped down as Chair of the Governing Council of AFIC. AFIC is the leading network of activists, Academics and Institutions working on Freedom of Information, Transparency and Governance in Africa. Two consecutive terms saw a transition through elections.” Outgoing Chair, Emmanuel Saffa Abdullai.

The General Assembly besides undertaking the elections of the new Governing Council, discussed the progress of the institution, looking at achievements, challenges, and opportunities for harnessing and realizing an Africa where all citizens can exercise their right of access to information. AFIC Secretariat is grateful to the outgoing Governing Council and welcomes the new Governing Council. The entire AFIC membership looks forward to working with the new Governing Council.