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Glimmer of hope as Cabinet approves Access to Information Bill

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - Kigali 13.06.11: ARTICLE 19 urges the Rwandan Parliament to pass the Access to Information Bill that was adopted by the Rwandan Cabinet on June 1, 2011 as a matter of priority. The Bill seeks to entrench the practice of transparency and accountability in public service delivery.

ARTICLE 19 welcomes the move by cabinet as the organisation has advocated for the enactment of a progressive access to information law in the country.

"The Rwandan Government's adoption of the Access to Information Bill is a clear acknowledgement of the key role free flow of information can play in good governance and transparency and in the sustainable development of the country. The Rwandan Parliament must now expedite the enactment process so that the people of Rwanda can start enjoying the benefits of this law," said Henry Maina, Director, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa.

An Access to Information Bill is one of the hallmarks of government accountability to its people because it facilitates citizen participation in decision making processes.

The adoption of the Bill came 125 days after Rwanda was subjected to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in January 2011. The report of the adoption of the Bill formed part of the advance report to the Human Rights Council 17th Session as was promised during the State review.

Read ARTICLE 19's UPR submission:
rwanda_article_19_submission_to_upr.pdf (129 KB)

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