Civil society leaders meet gov’t over access to information law

Civil society leaders meet gov’t over access to information law

Gambian civil society activists have called on the government to introduce access to information law in the country in order to uphold the citizens’ right to know.

The activists met the communication minister Demba Jawo at his office to present to him a statement as they mark the International Right to Know Day.

The delegation was led by African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies and TANGO – The Association of Non-Governmental Organizations.

“The statement calls on The Gambia Government to give all necessary opportunities and facilities and uphold Gambian citizens’ right to know. It calls on Government to create a freedom of information law and to ensure that Gambians access public information,” said Madi Jobarteh, deputy director of Tango.

“It also noted the importance and necessity of freedom of information law in ensuring democracy, good governance and making state institutions efficient and effective in providing quality public services as well as combating corruption.”

Gambia is the only English speaking country in West Africa that does not have access to information law.

The country’s new President Adama Barrow, who dethroned the former autocratic ruler Yahya Jammeh has promised to introduce access to information act.

Minister Jawo warmly welcomed the delegation and expressed his commitment to the ideals and objectives of access to information.

He stressed that the creation of a freedom of information law is a top priority and the process of sensitization on the creation of the bill has started.

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