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Cabinet approves Right to Information Bill

(MFWA/IFEX) - Ghana's Cabinet, at its last sitting last week, approved the Right to Information (RTI) bill after it was reviewed by a subcommittee that was charged to study the draft memorandum. The Bill will subsequently be forwarded to Parliament for consideration.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is pleased with this development because the bill, when passed, will consolidate the rights of journalists and the public to access information from government officials and public institutions without hindrance.

Specifically, MFWA reiterates its position that RTI encourages accountability through transparency; and it is one of the most prominent expressions of a nation's commitment to ensuring an open government. At the heart of that commitment is the idea that accountability is in the interest of government and citizens alike.

The Ghana Coalition on the Right to Information, made up of rights organizations, has since 2003 been at the forefront of the campaign for the passage of this Bill, which will also reduce speculation by journalists as it will make available to the public factual and first hand information.

In congratulating Cabinet for endorsing the Bill, MFWA also urges Parliament to give the Bill the utmost consideration and urgency required for its passage into law to consolidate the gains made in advancing democracy and strategically enhance Ghana's position as a beacon of democracy on the African continent.

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