Best Practices in Access to Information Implementation: Where does Ghana go from here?
Regina Oforiwa Amanfo & Lisa-Marie Selvik (2020)
Ghana’s Parliament adopted the long-awaited Right to Information (RTI) Law on March 26, 2019, bringing to 25, the total of African countries with an explicit law ensuring citizens right to access information. The African experience of adopting ‘Access to Information’ (ATI) laws has been checkered and relatively recent, and the continent continues to lag behind global trends of adopting ATI laws as 20 of the 25 African Right to Information laws were passed just in the last decade. Despite the recent surge in the adoption of such laws in Africa, gaps and deficits in their implementation persist.
This briefing paper will first focus on the current status of ATI law passage in Africa. Second, it presents how to assess ATI regimes both with regards to the legal framework (de jure) and the practical implementation (de facto). Thirdly, by drawing on how some African countries have implemented ATI regimes, and how civil society organisations work to promote and support ATI, the paper recommends best practices for Ghana as well as other African countries yet to pass and implement ATI laws. By examining the holistic strategies of ATI implementation in different parts of the continent (Africa), the briefing paper highlights the challenges and ‘lessons learned’ for Ghana as it begins implementing its recently passed ATI law. Finally, this paper provides useful resources and recommendations for further reading.
PhD Candidate, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen