New Minister Sparks Hope for FOI Statute in Sierra Leone

20 March 2013

Promising signals from the new information commissioner in Sierra Leone are raising hopes, again, for passage of a freedom of information bill.

“FOI is on a better footing to be passed this time round and I will meet this coalition again for progress on that,” Minister of Information and Communication Alpha Kanu assured members of the Freedom of Information (FOI) coalition on March 14, according to a recent news article in Politico SL.

The minister promised to talk to the Attorney General and Parliament about the bill, according to the article by Zainab Joaque.

The FOI Coalition has been pushing for a bill since 2004 and top officials have made promises of passage before, including last year. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

“The government has been promising us passage of this bill for too long,” said Emmanuel Abdulai Saffa, coalition chairperson and Executive Director of the Society for Democratic Initiative (SDI), according to a report by Human Rights Watch about the renewing campaign to pass a bill. article. “This legislation is key to addressing longstanding patterns of corruption and serious human rights violations, which were at the core of our brutal 11-year armed conflict,” Saffa said.

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