UNESCO supports development of Model Access to Information Law for Africa
A Northern African sub-regional consultation on the Draft Model Law on Access to Information for African Union Member States was held in Tunis, Tunisia, from 16 to 17 June 2012. Organized by the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria on behalf of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, the consultation was supported by UNESCO.
A resolution by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) authorized the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa to initiate a process to develop a model Access to Information (ATI) Law for Africa. The ATI Law would provide minimum standards to guide African Union Member States in their adoption or review of ATI legislation, and provide uniform benchmarks for evaluating implementation. The Draft Model Law has been developed by the Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria), under the auspices of the African Special Rapporteur. Sub-regional consultations had been previously held for Southern Africa (in Maputo), Eastern Africa (in Nairobi), and West and Central Africa (in Dakar) to review and discuss the Draft Model Law.
The event in Tunis represented a key opportunity for government officials and civil society practitioners, who attended it, to share their views on the proposed Draft Model Law, discussing its different sections in light of the particular context in their countries and the sub-region. It also provided a space to explore room for exchanges and cooperation with other sub-regions in Africa.
The meeting was the final sub-regional consultation before the expert working group involved in the development of the Model Law meets again in Pretoria from 6 to 8 July to consider the feedback gathered through the previous consultations and from several ATI experts at the international and regional level. Based on the decisions of the working group, a three-member drafting committee that is part of it will produce a final draft of the Model Law. The document will be submitted for the adoption by the African Commission on Human and Peoples´ Rights at its 52nd Ordinary Session in October 2012.
To access the Draft Model Law please click here.