As the World Marks the International Day of Universal Access to Information, The West Africa Media Lawyers Association (“WAMELA”) has challenged African Leaders to preserve the democratic rights of citizens by enacting laws and promoting policies that guarantee unfettered access to information about Government’s business, particularly as it relates to finance and socio-political rights.
President of WAMELA, Noah Ajare Esq. gave this charge on the occasion of the 2020 International Day of Universal Access to Information which is celebrated annually on September 28th. The WAMELA President lamented the precarious situation Press Freedom and Access to Information face in some West Africa States, and called on Heads of ECOWAS States to stop all attempts of shrinking the media space and press censorship. He applauded countries such as Nigeria and Ghana that have in place Freedom of Information laws and called on citizens to effectively utilize such laws to expose corruption and impunity, promote accountability and good governance. In his words, “WAMELA will engage the ECOWAS Commission to ensure that there is a special protocol on Freedom of Information in line with global best practices as ratified by UN Resolution 57 of the UNESCO General Conference of 2015. Access to public records is a fundamental Right and which is intrinsic to the deepening of Democracy and building of National trust in the West African Sub-Region and so must not be toiled with.”
Head Media, WAMELA
28th September 2020
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