Publications

Includes research, reports and publications on ATI in Africa

Namibia

WHAT IS ACCESS TO INFORMATION?

Access to information (ATI) is regarded as a crucial ingredient for a society that upholds democracy and good governance. Like other democracies, Namibia is nudged towards adopting a legal and policy framework that guarantees ATI as a fundamental human right.

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION (IN NAMIBIA)

As far as access to information goes, Namibia’s international, continental, regional and national obligations are quite extensive.

This body of obligations places immense pressure on the country to come up with, and implement an ATI legal framework that speaks to all its commitments within the international and regional treaty and agreements sphere.

When considering these obligations, it is important to remember that Namibia is a monist state and that monism is constitutionally enshrined. This has significant implications for how the Namibian state conducts itself with regard to international treaties and agreements.

ACCESS DENIED: ACCESS TO INFORMATION IN NAMIBIA, 2017

Access to Information is a key component of well-functioning democracies: citizens need to be well-informed about what is happening in government. Namibia has signed on to a variety of regional and international agreements that commit us to implementing access to information regimes, and yet little concrete has come of this commitment. For this report, IPPR researchers contacted 105 organisations ranging from government ministries to public enterprises, private companies, and civil society organisations. While there were some responses, the overall picture is grim: 80% of all bodies contacted either did not respond or said they could not provide the information. Disconcertingly, almost 60% simply did not respond at all – pointing towards a general attitude that prioritises secrecy over transparency across Namibia, be it in government or in the private sector.

ENCOURAGING THE REPORTING OF CORRUPTION: PRINCIPLES OF WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION

Whistleblower protection is increasingly recognised as being a vital element in the promotion of public accountability and integrity. Whistleblowers play a crucial role in uncovering mismanagement, fraud and corruption. Their actions can result in the detection of serious crime and misconduct, the recovery of stolen resources, and the prevention of serious harm including the saving of lives.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION – AS A TOOL FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC JUSTICE

It has been asserted that the 21st century will be, or is, the African century. This assertion is supported to some extent by economic growth figures that show Africa is enjoying some of the highest levels of economic growth in the world.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION – MEDIA & INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES

We are living in an information society, where the distribution of information rather than the distribution of goods has become increasingly important. Information and the means by which it is distributed and consumed have become increasingly important to the democratic process.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION – AND THE ECONOMY IN NAMIBIA

‘Over the years Namibia has made improvements in the production of the macroeconomic accounts … questions of accuracy, credibility and timeliness still exist.’

DISCLOSURE vs SECRECY – What is the right balance?

A large international community of right to information proponents, academics and transparency advocates hold the view that information transforms and therefore it must be disclosed.1 As such, disclosure of government information makes a difference in a number of ways.

A research paper commissioned and facilitated by MISA Namibia

The media environment in Namibia continues to grow and develop with time. Many positive and depressing events have taken place within the Namibian media environment since independence in 1990 – luckily more positive than negative. New media laws have been drafted, old ones amended or repealed while new documents have been implemented with the aim of sustaining and promoting a diverse and strong media landscape in the country.

MISA Reports on Government Secrecy/Transparency

MISA Transparency Assessment

This is the 10th Transparency Assessment Report of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), which examines the openness and transparency of public institutions in southern Africa.

MISA Transparency Assessment

The Citizens’ Analysis of Government Openness in Southern Africa

This is the ninth MISA Transparency Assessment which analyses the ease or difficulty with which the public can access relevant information held by government and public institutions. The study assesses whether institutions make information proactively available via an online presence and provide helpful information upon request.

In 2017, research was carried out by eight MISA Chapters in partnership with local researches, in Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

MISA Transparency Assessment

2016 Report on Open & Secretive Public Institutions in Southern Africa

This is MISA’s eighth instalment of its Transparency Assessment, formerly known as the Golden Padlock report. The report analyses the ease or difficulty with which the public can access relevant information held by government and public institutions. The study assesses whether institutions make information proactively available via an online presence and provide helpful information upon request.

GOVERNMENT OPENNESS IN AN INFORMATION AGE

2015 Report on Open & Secretive Public Institutions in Southern Africa

Access to information is widely recognised as an essential tool in the democratic functioning of a state. It is also a basic human right guaranteed at both international and regional levels, which provides citizens with the right ‘to seek, access and receive information from public and private bodies performing a public function’.

GOVERNMENT SECRECY IN AN INFORMATION AGE

2014 Report on Open & Secretive Public Institutions in Southern Africa

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has for the last five years produced an annual report on the openness and secretiveness of public institutions in southern Africa. Each year, researchers throughout the region evaluate the websites and responses to written and oral information requests of dozens of public institutions across numerous countries.

GOVERNMENT SECRECY IN AN INFORMATION AGE

2013 Report on Open & Secretive Public Institutions in Southern Africa

As the media project of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Sub-Saharan Africa, fesmedia Africa is working towards a political, legal and regulatory framework for the media, which follows regional and international standards. We support efforts to improve the state of access to information on the African continent as free access to information is not only elementary to the right of freedom of expression but also fundamental to the exercise and realization of numerous social and economic human rights.

GOVERNMENT SECRECY IN AN INFORMATION AGE

A Report on Open & Secretive Public Institutions in Southern Africa

Southern Africa is home to some of the most secretive government and public institutions in the world. The continued existence of archaic colonial legislations such as Official Secrets Acts, the failure to repeal the Access to Information & Privacy Protection Act in Zimbabwe, the introduction of the Protection of Information Bill currently under Parliament in South Africa, the deletion from the Zambian Draft Constitution the right for citizens to access Government held information by the National Constitutional Conference and the ultimate failure of the entire region to pass legislation guaranteeing citizens the right to information in the last ten years testifies the thriving environment in which secrecy prevails.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION in Africa

STATE OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION IN AFRICA 2017

In celebration of International Right to Information Day in 2015, the African Platform on Access to Information (APAI) Campaign and fesmedia Africa released a research study on the state of access to information in Africa. Reviewing fourteen countries, and using the expertise and experience of the APAI Working Group Members, the research provides a useful snapshot of the state of access to information on the continent while providing clear and simple summaries and infographics, measured against the APAI Declaration of Principles1. It was completed largely by survey.

STATE OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION IN AFRICA

Africa Freedom of Information Centre – Report 2014

Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) not only deems it an honour and an opportunity to produce this important publication. We see it as our duty. AFIC is a pan–African network and resource centre of 35 civil society organizations promoting access to information in Africa. It leads regional efforts in the promotion of the right to information in Africa and provides support to members and country groups to effectively advocate for freedom of information at country and regional level.

MEDIA IN AFRICA

Twenty years after the Windhoek Declaration on press freedom

UNESCO warmly welcomes this publication as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration on Press Freedom, Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press, a landmark document that set the stage for the developments taking place in the African media sector since then.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION IN AFRICA

Examining progress since the APAI Declaration in infographics

In order to further the ambitions of the APAI working group, in 2013 we undertook research – based upon the expertise and experience of our working group on access to information (ATI) issues in the region – which set out to provide a basic assessment on the state of access to information on the continent as a general reflection on the environment since the passage of the APAI Declaration on 19 September 2011.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION IN AFRICA

Examining progress since the APAI Declaration

The African Platform on Access to Information (APAI) working group was formed in 2009 in order to initiate a campaign to promote Access to Information in Africa around the 20th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration on Press Freedom. As a fundamental campaign objective, the group seeks to promote the celebration of Right to Information Day on 28 September each year.

Internet Governance

Namibia Internet Governance Forum

2018

One of the main goals for the 2018 Namibia Internet Governance Forum (NamIGF), was to maintain the
high quality of internet related discussions held at the 2017 forum. Those who registered online to attend
this year’s forum, made the work of the Working Group (WG) in developing the programme a lot easier,
because they chose the topics to be discussed through the completion of a survey.

Namibia Internet Governance Forum

2017

“Ultimately, it is our hope that the Namibia Internet Governance Forum will, and should, become the platform from which Namibia’s voice will with increasing assertiveness be transmitted into the regional and global Internet governance spheres”

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