Access to Information
EIO responsibilities
Monday, 02 July 2012 12:34

EIO responsibilities

Last Updated on Friday, 02 May 2014 08:02
Freedom of Mass Media and Access to Information Law
Monday, 02 July 2012 11:25

Freedom of Mass Media and Access to Information Law

Last Updated on Monday, 02 July 2012 13:00
Tools and Resources
Monday, 02 July 2012 11:02

Tools and Resources

Last Updated on Monday, 02 July 2012 13:01
Access to Information is a Fundamental Human and Democratic Right
Friday, 20 April 2012 08:03

Access to information is one of the fundamental human and democratic rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 states in Article 19 that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, which include the right of freedom to seek, receive and impart information regardless of frontiers.

The freedom of information is a necessary prerequisite for good governance and democracy. It has individual and national benefit enabling citizens’ to make informed decisions affecting their lives and their country at large.

The underlying idea is information held by or under the control of a public body should be accessible to members of the public. Freedom of information enables public bodies to be accountable and open thereby strengthening transparent system in government functioning.

With Sweden’s oldest Freedom of the Press Act issued in 1766, many countries around the world have issued some form of such legislation.

The Ethiopian constitution highlights the importance of transparency in government functioning. Article 12 of the constitution states that affairs of the government should be conducted in transparent manner. This helps combat corruption and enhances good governance in the country.

Article 29 states “the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print…” citizens access to information that are in the hands of public bodies help ensure   transparency to play role in the country’s democratization process. The law obligates public officials to facilitate access to information so that matters of public interest may be disclosed to the public.

It is taking into these facts that Ethiopia’s Mass Media and Access to Information Proclamation 590/2008 was issued. The implementation of the law was launched in Ethiopia as of November 2012 after the necessary legal packages prepared.

Part three of the law which deals exclusively with access to information aims at giving effect to the right of citizens’ to access, receive and impart information held by public bodies, subject to justifiable limits.

It also aims at establishing mechanisms and procedures to give effect to access to information right in a manner which enables persons to obtain information as quickly, inexpensively and effortlessly as reasonably possible.

The provisions encourage and promote efficiency in the functions of public bodies. Freedom of information encourages participation and public empowerment to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in the functions of the government thereby encouraging good governance.

This right allows citizens to inspect works, documents, records held by public bodies, take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; take certified samples of material and obtain information in form of print outs.

The importance of the Law in Ethiopian context cannot be overemphasized. Ethiopia needs the implementation of the law for its good governance and development endeavors.

Information is public’s property, everyone has the right to seek, receive and communicate information held by public bodies.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 April 2014 07:34