The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in partnership with its national partner in Cote d’Ivoire, L’Observatoire de la Liberté de la Presse, l’Ethique et de la Déontologie (OLPED), will on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 hold a public forum at the Manhattan Suites Hotel in Abidjan. The forum will be held on the theme: Access to Information Law for Transparent and Accountable Governance in Cote d’Ivoire.
The event will bring together key stakeholders from government ministries, departments and agencies, representatives from civil society groups, media groups, journalists, Academia and the general public to assess the Law on Access to Public Information (Loi no 2013 – 867) and its role in engendering transparent and accountable governance in Cote d’Ivoire.
The forum will also deliberate on some of the challenges hampering the successful implementation and utilization of the law, especially by journalists. The stakeholders will make key contributions and recommendations which will be documented and shared with relevant offices for necessary actions to be taken in Cote d’Ivoire.
At the forum, the MFWA will launch the Manual on Access to Information for Journalists in Cote d’Ivoire. The Manual is a tool guide designed to help journalists in the country better understand the law. It provides ten quick tips on how journalists can utilise the Access to Information law to advance the development of their stories.
Access to Information is universally recognised as a basic human right. In West Africa, more than 10 countries have passed an access to information law with the latest being The Gambia. In Cote d’Ivoire, the law on Access to Public Information was passed in 2013. Since then, the public, especially journalists, have struggled to engage with the law. The reasons have been low knowledge and awareness of the law, and lack of infrastructure and capacity to make the law more effective and functional. The forum aims at stemming these challenges by increasing public awareness of the Access to Information law and its relevance in the promotion of accountable governance in Cote d’Ivoire.
The public forum and the launch of the Manual form part of the MFWA’s project on “Promoting Press Freedom, Independent Journalism and Democratic Governance in West Africa” which is supported by the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA).