Ghana: Information Commission honours MFWA for being Access to Information champion

Ghana’s Right to Information Commission has hailed the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) for its role in ensuring the effective implementation of Ghana’s Right to Information (RTI) Law.

The Commission also honoured the MFWA for being instrumental in assisting it in delivering on its mandates.  The honour was presented in a citation delivered to the MFWA at a public forum organized to mark the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) on September 28, 2022.

In attendance at the event were Ghana’s Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister of Information, the UN Resident Coordinator, UNESCO Ghana Country Representative, members of the diplomatic corps, heads of state institutions, key state institutions, civil society groups and the media.

“You seek to protect, consolidate, and expand the fundamental freedom of expression of all persons. In doing this, you make the world a better place.

“There is a lot of work ahead of the Commission, and your assistance makes it easier to get things done.

“Thank you for the support. Your desire to help The Right to Information Commission succeed in its mission is remarkable,” the citation presented to the MFWA read in part.

Since the RTI law was passed in 2019, the MFWA has trained about 250 journalists, 150 local government officials, and hundreds of citizens on how to use the RTI law.

In addition, the organization has also held a number of sensitization forums that have brought together key stakeholders of the law.

The MFWA has also been implementing projects aimed at increasing the awareness and facilitation of the effective implementation of access to information laws across West Africa.

The Fourth Estate, a journalism project of the MFWA, has also been at the forefront of testing the RTI law. The Fourth Estate has made a total of 133 RTI requests to various institutions for information. Some institutions responded and provided the information, others did not.

A total of 26 appeals were made to the RTI Commission, which ruled on 17 of the cases and made seven referrals. The Commission’s website also provides information on cases brought to it by other institutions and individuals.

In March this year, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, singled out the MFWA and its The Fourth Estate for praise in the testing of the RTI Act, when he was called to the floor of parliament to respond to questions on the operationalising the law.

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