30 June 2011

Model freedom of information law consultation in Maputo

The first sub-regional consultation on the draft model law on access to information for African Union member states was held in Maputo from 28 June to 30 June 2011.

The consultation was hosted by the Centre for Human Rights Pretoria in partnership with Eduardo Mondlane University at the request of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa.

The consultation was attended by state human rights organisations, members of parliament, electoral commissioners and civil society organisations from the SADC region.

Tammy O'Connor, from SAHA's freedom of information programme, was one of the key presenters on the model law at the consultation, summarising and explaining key parts of the model law and inviting discussion and contributions on the content of the law.

In general, participants indicated support for the development of a model law and were encouraged by the progressive nature of the draft law. Valuable insights in relation to drafting and implementation were provided by the group and will be instrumental in informing the final draft of the law to be prepared for submission to the African Commission on Human and People's Rights.

Further consultations will be held in Dakar, Nairobi and Cairo later this year. Interested parties are also encouraged to make written submissions on the law.

For further information on the upcoming sub-regional consultations, to obtain a copy of the model law or to make a written submission, please contact the Centre for Human Rights.