We are pleased to introduce and invite you to partner and support the implementation of our new five-year strategic plan, “Access to Information: The Bridge to Sustainable Development”.
The US$ 12,313,811 Strategic Plan, seeks to among others advocate for ratification and domestication of the six African Union treaties that recognise the right to information; campaign for adoption of ATI laws in at least 25 African countries; promote transparency and accountability in key sectors and thematic areas; strengthen AFIC members especially in respect to use of regional and international mechanisms to advance the right to information; and to boost the capacity of AFIC Secretariat.
Based on our learning that vulnerable and disadvantaged groups are particularly challenged in accessing information essential for their participation and personal development, the strategic plan gives their access special attention in order to ensure that no one is left behind.
Our new priorities and thematic focus
Focus demands sacrifice as such our new strategic plan will focus on four key priorities and thematic areas: right to information, transparency and accountability, membership strengthening and institutional strengthening. Thematic areas are: agriculture, education, health, elections, extractives and natural resources and public infrastructure.
Right to information
The lack of appropriate legal framework and their implementation undermine the enjoyment of citizens’ right to information. To bridge existing gaps we will actively campaign for ratification and domestication of African Union treaties that recognise the right to information, undertake promotional measures to support the implementation of access to information laws by governments and business companies, build CSO demand for and use of public information and collaborate with and enhance capacities of respective Information Commissions and similar ATI oversight bodies
Transparency and Accountability
In this programme area we aim to promote adoption and implementation of open contracting standards and norms by governments and public institutions; ensure the protection of whistle-blowers; strengthen capacity of CSOs and other stakeholders to use published data to promote efficiency, value for money, transparency, fair business practices and better delivery of public services and enhance the responsiveness of African governments to citizens demands for transparency and accountability.
Our members- institutions and their staff are the greatest assets for the advancement of the right to information, transparency and accountability in respective countries yet quite a number have capacity challenges to pursue this goal. Over the next five years AFIC will train and equip its members to actively promote and defend the right to information, effectively use respective regional and international mechanisms for the promotion of RTI, transparency and accountability, strengthen coordination of members for collective actions, recruit new members in countries where there are no members and, promote knowledge and information sharing.
AFIC’s institutional strengthening
Successful implementation of our strategic plan will require adequate staffing, skilling of staff, proper funding, effective leadership and oversight by the Government Council and the general Assembly. In this regard, existing staff will be reoriented to the new strategic plan, more staff recruited to fill existing gaps, organize appropriate training and capacity building initiatives. In addition, strategies for resource mobilization, communication, monitoring, evaluation and learning will be developed and effectively implemented. Mechanisms for effective oversight by the Governing Council and General Assembly will be implemented in accordance with AFIC governance frameworks.
Leave no one behind!
Whereas we recognize that people don’t access public information with the same level of ease, we learnt that vulnerable and disadvantage groups are disproportionately affected by lack of access to information. In this regard, our programmes will pay special attention to women, youth, persons with disabilities and displaced persons to ensure they access the information they need for their effective participation in public affairs and personal development.
We welcome you to partner with us as we walk this important journey of our strategic plan.