African Platform for Access to Information Declaration 2011

Pan African Conference on Access to Information
in Media Law
African Platform for Access to Information Declaration 2011

The African Platform on Access to Information (APAI) declaration was adopted at the Pan African Conference on Access to Information (PACAI), held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Here are the key principles:

Fundamental Right Accessible to Everyone

Access to information is a fundamental human right, it is open to everyone.

Maximum Disclosure

All information held by public bodies is public and should be subject to disclosure (except in limited circumstances).

Established in Law

The right to access to information shall be established by law in each African country.

Applies to Public Bodies & Private Bodies

The obligation to access to information shall apply to all public bodies as well as government owned or controlled private bodies.

Clear and Unambiguous Process

The process to obtain information should be simple and fast.

Obligation to publish information

Public and relevant private bodies shall be obliged to proactively release information relating to their activities that is of public interest.

Language and Accessibility

Information should be available in the language of the person seeking it, and in an accessible location and format.

Limited exemptions

The right to access to information shall only be limited where there would be a significant harm if the information was released.

Oversight Bodies

Independent bodies should be established to monitor and hold government bodies and relevant private entities to account.

Right to personal data

All persons have a right to access and correct their personal data held by third parties.

Whistleblower protection

Adequate protections against different forms of sanctions should be provided for those who disclose information on wrong-doing and information in the public interest.

Right of Appeal

Everyone has the right to appeal administratively any action that hinders or denies access to information or any failure to proactively disclose information.

Duty to Collect and Manage Information

Public and relevant private bodies have a duty to collect information of public interest on behalf of their citizens.

Duty to Fully Implement

Public and relevant private bodies have an obligation to ensure the law is fully implemented.

This article is an adaptation of a piece that originally appeared in the AFRICAN FREE PRESS, a MISA project supported by DW AKADEMIE.

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