State of Right of access to Information in Africa Report in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals

The right of access to information is a fundamental freedom and a human right, an integral part of the right to freedom of expression and the associated right to media freedom. Numerous international and regional intergovernmental organizations have recognized access to information in their conventions and protocols.

In Africa, 21 out of the 54 countries (39%) have a specific access to information legislation.

Even though, the number of countries with these laws has doubled in the last 5 years, we need more to encourage African countries to develop and adopt access to information legal frameworks and to effectively implement the measures to guarantee this fundamental right.

AFIC has been conducting an annual report on the state of ATI:

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ATI integrated in the UN Agenda 2030

The international community has joined efforts to agree on a common vision to ensure the sustainable development of all countries by 2030 and the right of access to information has been recognized as a driving principle to achieve this vision.

The target, SDG16.10, states plainly that all countries pledge to:

“ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.”

For most developing countries ensuring public access to information will necessitate not only legal changes. It will require reducing the digital divide and to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all.

 In 2017, AFIC assessed the progress of implementation of the right to information in African countries in line with SDG 16.10.2 and international legal standards. It provides baseline information on the different aspects of the right to information.

This report recognizes that the baseline for every country is different, for a variety of socioeconomic and historical reasons and that each government sets different national priorities, with different metrics.

The countries analysed in the report are Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, The Gambia, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

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