May 11, 2010, 12:09 pm
By Laura Neuman
Impact from the Carter Center’s African Regional Conference on the Right of Access to Information, held in Ghana in February, is still being felt around the African continent as stakeholders work to advance the right and foster communication about remaining challenges.
The African Regional Findings and Plan of Action, based on conference findings and which provides a blueprint to establish, develop, and nurture the right of access to information, was released in March and widely disseminated. Information regarding the conference findings and the text of the African Regional Findings and Plan of Action has been posted at least 70 times, appearing on more than 27 Web sites and 38 online news agencies.
Listen to conference participants talk about the importance of access to information:
Click image below to watch video.
Since then, in South Africa, regional civil society leaders have met to discuss ideas for implementing the conference’s action points; in the Democratic Republic of the Congo colleagues are hosting a workshop to discuss the plan and ideas for their country; the World Bank Institute with the International School for Transparency held a videoconference with people in South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania to discuss the African Regional Plan; and participants from Uganda – including the minister of information – with other stakeholders have met to discuss strategies to take forward priorities that were agreed upon in Accra. In response to action points in the African Regional Plan of Action, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa is organizing a meeting of experts to draft a model law for the region.
The Carter Center is committed to advancing the right of access to information in Africa and around the world and has held two other major conferences on the topic., The Americas Regional Conference on the Right of Access to Information was held April 2009 in Peru and the International Conference on the Right to Public Information was held in February 2008 in Atlanta. Read more about the Center’s access to information initiative.