Liberian President Sirleaf Signs FOI Law; Regional First

5 October 2010

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed into law the Liberian Freedom of Information Bill.

Presidential Press Secretary Cyrus Badio told a news conference Oct. 4 that the president has fowarded the signed FOI law to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia to be printed into a  hand bill. 

The signing of the FOI law makes Liberia the first West African country with a freedom of information law. (See previous reports.)

The news was reported in The Inquirer and the African Press Agency, which wrote:

In his regular press briefing on Monday, Mr. Badio described the signing as ’good news’ for the media, adding, “The decision by the government to sign the bill into law is something that has been considered as progress by the African Editor’s Forum”.

He quoted a communication from the African Editors’ Forum to the President that it has decided to honor the Liberian leader for her government’s work in opening space for the media, which culminated in the passage and subsequent signing of the Freedom of Information Act.

The Liberian leader is to receive the award together with some former African leaders such as former South African Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, Alpha Konare of Mali, and John Kufuor of Ghana.

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