The Minister for Information, Dr. Mustapha Hamid, has reiterated the government’s commitment to the passage of the country’s Right to Information Bill which has been on the drawing board for over a decade and a half.
The Minister made the comment at the ongoing World Press Freedom Day Celebration which is being hosted by Ghana.
According to the Minister, the Nana Akufo-Addo led New Patriotic Party (NPP) is poised to make the country’s quest of passing a Right to Information law possible. The Bill when passed into law is expected to open up governance and enhance media freedom in the country.
Dr. Hamid told a gathering of media practitioners and representatives of parallel Institutions with interest in the media, drawn from across the world, that, the government has already forwarded the Bill to the Parliament and is expected to be passed by May this year when the House resumes sittings after the Easter recess.
In the keynote address delivered by the Senior Policy Manager at the World Wide Web Foundation, Nnenna Nwakanma, she called on the government of Ghana to walk the talk by expediting action on the passage of the Right to Information Bill since the Bill has suffered a lot of setback over the past 17 years.
She recounted how the Bill has been in and out of Parliament with very little political will for its passage though it has the potential of further enhancing Ghana’s already enviable Democratic credentials.
Currently, Ghana is being celebrated as the most Democratic country in Africa on Media Freedom and number 23 on the world ranking.
The 2018 World Press Freedom Day being hosted by Ghana, is the 25th anniversary of the commemoration of the day which was instituted by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1993.
The theme for this year’s celebration is Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law.
The Deputy Director General of UNESCO, Getachew Engida, emphasized the importance of the theme for this year’s event which brings to the fore the interactions between the media and the Judiciary regarding the risks that Journalist across the world go through in the line of duty.
He observed that there is a global convergence to arrive at a point where crimes against Journalists must not go unpunished. Therefore UNESCO has been facilitating the training of some Judges on cases involving Journalists.
He revealed that in the last decade, over 800 journalists have been killed in the line of duty; there is therefore the need to bridge the gap for such crimes against Journalists should not go unpunished in the years ahead.
Source: Clement Akoloh || afriwakeradio.com