MFWA welcomes historic FOI legislation in Liberia

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia signed into law, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill, thereby making Liberia the first country in West Africa to pass the FOI Act.

Cyrus Wleh Badio, the presidential press secretary, who announced the signing at a press conference, told journalists that the FOI Act had been forwarded for printing.

MFWA was happy that President Johnson Sirleaf has lived up to her promise of signing the FOI Bill into law. Even before its approval by both chambers of the Liberia legislature, the President had always expressed her preparedness to sign the Bill.

The Freedom of Information Law was among three draft laws submitted to the House of Representatives on April 18, 2008, by the Liberia Media Law and Policy Reform Working Group. The other two draft laws are a public service Broadcaster Law and a law to establish an Independent Broadcast Regulator for Liberia.

The Independent Broadcast Regulator law was passed in 2009 passed by the House of Representatives and was before the Liberian Senate for endorsement, while the Public Service Broadcaster Act was still at the Committee level in the House of Representatives.

MFWA commend the House and Senate for the hard work they put into these legislations and joined the Press Union of Liberia in welcoming the signing of the law and describe it as a plus for development.

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