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  • 19 December 2016

    Malawi Parliament Passes Access to Information Bill

    Opposition members of the Malawi Parliament prevailed in a contentious session to pass an access to information bill on Dec. 16. Despite the controversy, President Peter Mutharika is expected to sign the bill. (The bill was signed into law Feb. 10, 2017, and promulgated Feb. 16, 2017. See signed Access to Information Act.) “I don’t […]

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  • 25 February 2016

    Malawi Groups Urge Defeat of Revised Access Legislation

    The Malawi Parliament should turn down an access to information bill recently approved by the Cabinet, according to four advocacy groups. Among other things, they object to charging for information and making the law prospective only. The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Centre for Development of People (Cedep) in a statement […]

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News Archive

  • 10 February 2016

    Malawi Draft Law Rated Highly by Rating System

    If the president allows it to pass, the draft right to information law in Malawi would be the fifteenth best in the world, according to an analysis by the Centre for Law and Democracy. “The Analysis also reveals that there are important areas where the Bill should be improved before it is passed,” a CLD […]

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  • 28 January 2016

    Malawi President Resists FOI Law, Seeks to Limit Use

    By Toby McIntosh Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika is insisting that access to information (ATI) legislation should not cover existing government information, saying the bill should only apply prospectively. His stance continues to delay passage of a long-promised ATI bill and runs counter to international norms. “Many followers of the Bill see this as merely a […]

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  • 28 January 2016

    OGP Examines Membership of Kenya, Malawi, Montenegro

    The Open Government Partnership is reviewing the memberships of three member countries that have missed two deadlines to prepare national action plans (NAPs). Kenya, Malawi and Montenegro have failed for two successive years to produce action plans, a core commitment made by OGP members. The three countries could face being declared “inactive” under the OGP […]

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  • 6 November 2015

    Malawi President Says ATI Bill Will Be Tabled This Month

    Malawi President Peter Mutharika has pledged to introduce an access to information bill this month, according to media reports. “Yes, Yes, Government will table the Access to Information bill,” said Mutharika in a speech to Parliament, reported The Nyasa Times. Minister of Information Jappie Mhango said the processing of the bill is at a very […]

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  • 27 May 2015

    Several African Nations Criticized at OGP Meeting

    Tanzania and several other African countries were chastised on the subject of access to information at a recent regional meeting of Open Government Partnership held May 20-21 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, however, told the delegates that he plans to sign two controversial bills — on media regulation bill and freedom of information […]

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  • 6 November 2014

    Malawi Political Delays vs. Civil Society Initiatives

    By Michael Kaiyatsa The author is Training and Research Coordinator, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation.  This is a chapter in a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous report.) Malawi has demonstrated exceptional leadership in terms of ratification of African Union treaties that recognize the […]

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  • 25 September 2014

    Malawi Government Delays Action on FOI Legislation

    A freedom of information law for Malawi has been delayed. Minister of Information and Civic Education Kondwani Nankhumwa recently said that action will not be taken during the current session of Parliament. The bill remains under review by the Ministry of Justice, he said, according to a news report in the Malawi Nyasa Times. “We […]

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  • 29 July 2014

    UN Committee Urges Malawi to Pass Information Access Bill

    The United Nations Human Rights Committee has recommended that Malawi adopt an access to information bill. It is one of many observations made in a document adopted at a meeting held July 22-23. The committee report says: The State should expedite the adoption of the Access to Information Bill and to ensure that its provisions […]

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  • 6 February 2014

    Malawi Cabinet Approves Access to Information Policy

    The Malawi Cabinet has approved an access to information policy, setting the stage for introduction of ATI legislation. The development was cheered by activists as removing the last major hurdle to the enactment of an ATI law. The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi chapter, one of the groups leading the campaign for a […]

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  • 16 August 2013

    Kenya Debating Transparency of Natural Resource Contracts

    Very few countries disclose the contracts made with private companies to develop natural resources, but pressure for more transparency has been on the rise, as is now on display in Kenya. The Kenyan government recently cancelled contracts with mining companies over questions about their adequacy and transparency. The International Monetary Fund had been pressuring Kenya to disclose […]

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  • 8 July 2013

    Malawi to Join OGP; Total Membership Reaches 60

    The Government of Malawi on July 4 indicated its desire to join the Open Government Partnership. The letter of intent starts the membership process. “Malawi will officially join OGP when it presents a National Action Plan and endorses the open government declaration,” according to the OGP announcement. Malawi scores 12 on the 16-point OGP eligibility […]

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  • 29 March 2013

    Four African Leaders Say They Hope to Join OGP

    President Obama March 28 met with the heads of state of four African countries – Cape Verde, Malawi, Senegal and Sierra Leone – indicating afterwards that all four hope to join the Open Government Partnership. “So what our discussion has focused on is, number one, how do we continue to build on strong democracies; how […]

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  • 4 February 2013

    Legislative Calendar Slips for FOI Legislation in Malawi

    The government of Malawi will not submit a freedom of information bill during the current session of parliament, according to a media report. This development was met with regret by Anthony Kasunda, the chairperson of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi chapter. Kasunda told Capital FM that “the process will delay a bit. […]

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  • 17 July 2002

    REPORT: A Landmark Law Opens Up Post-Apartheid South Africa

    By Mukelani Dimba, Training Consultant, Open Democracy Advice Centre UPDATE – Media Release, 11 OCTOBER 2002 The Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC) today released the results of a study that exposes the government for failing to implement a crucial Transparency Law passed over two years ago. A Landmark Law Opens Up Post-Apartheid South Africa Throughout […]

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LEGAL DOCUMENTS Access to Information Act (promulgated Feb. 16, 2017). Draft from Feb. 2016



Measuring Openness

Global Right to Information Rating
A country-by-country rating of laws by the Centre for Democracy and Law and Access Info.

Freedom House
The Freedom in the World report.

World Bank
Worldwide Governance Indicators

Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index
Measures perceptions of the degree of corruption.

Reporters Without Borders
The Press Freedom Index.