Freedom of access to government information in Africa: trends, status and challenges

Brendan Eze Asogwa, Ifeanyi Jonas Ezema
  • Records Management Journal, November 2017, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/rmj-08-2015-0029

Examination of implementation of redeem of information in Africa

What is it about?

This paper discusses the extent of passage of freedom of information (FoI) laws in Africa identifying some emerging positive trends and critical challenges impeding effective implementation of FoI laws incontinent

Why is it important?

Only 14 (25.5 per cent) of the 55 countries in Africa had signed FoI law as on January 31, 2015; 16 (29.0 per cent) are still lobbying, while 25 (45.5 per cent) of the states had no significant plan yet. Political factors like colonial legacy, poor leadership, inexperienced record managers for the implementation of FoI Acts (FoIA), corruption and hydra-headed clauses such as “national security, and other privacy rights” impede access to government records in Africa. The paper recommended among others that African countries should amend restrictive laws that continue to impede full implantation of FoI laws.


Dr Ifeanyi Jonas Ezema
University of Nigeria Nsukka

Implementation of the provisions in the FoIA in Africa will not be realistic unless those restrictive clauses that hinder citizens from freely accessing government information are reviewed in line with free access to information. This paper appears to be the first to review the status of FoIA in Africa since the first right to information laws were signed in the c

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The following have contributed to this page: Brendan E. Asogwa and Dr Ifeanyi Jonas Ezema