The Model Law on Access to Information: A First for Africa

Launch of the Model Law in Banjul on April 12, 2013

Launch of the Model Law in Banjul on April 12, 2013
(Photo: CHR)

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted the ‘Model Law on Access to Information for Africa’ in April 2013. It is the first model law ever to be adopted by the commission.

The law provides detailed and practical information on the legislative obligations of member states to the African Charter with respect to the right of access to information. At the same time it leaves the specific form in which such laws will be adopted to the individual governments.

The project supported the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information and the Center for Human Rights in Pretoria  in disseminating the model law to all relevant stakeholders. Also, a simplified version was developed to facilitate better understanding and use of the document. So far, the law has served as the model for the new access to information (ATI) legislation in Ghana, Malawi and Mozambique. It has also been used for advocating the revision of the restrictive ATI legislation in Zimbabwe. Another milestone was the approval of the Model Law by the SADC Secretariat as a standard for the region.

Download the Model Law (pdf)
Download the Model Law Guidelines (pdf)

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