Penplusbytes congratulates the Government of Ghana for making RTI a reality
Ghana has joined the 24% of African countries that have adopted the Right to Information (RTI) bill. These countries: South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Liberia and Guinea all have the law, which helps promote transparency and accountability.
Penplusbytes, a member of the Coalition on RTI, has been engaged in the years’ long advocacy work leading to the passage of the bill, and we join others in celebrating its passage into law. Our belief is that in spite of the work that remains to be done to get it to be fully functional and useful in promoting the values of transparency, the right to information law will bring about a change in the way the media and public actors interact to keep citizens informed.
We are particularly grateful for the support from STAR Ghana Foundation, which enabled us to use our digital tools to increase the impact of the massive #RTIRedFriday street campaigns over the period leading to the passage of the bill.
The Right to Information Law will undoubtedly energise the work we are doing with the Parliament of Ghana, to enhance communication and information sharing between our lawmakers and citizens using online and offline tools. We also look forward to being able to use the opportunities that the RTI presents to explore technological means of mining data to remove the many barriers to fluid information flow that currently exists between private and public institutions and which impede key decision making.
We understand that the implementation of the RTI in Ghana has been estimated to cost GHc 750 million over five years, according to a report issued by the Research Department of Parliament in 2017. This cost, as we are told, will revolve around the setting up of an RTI Commission among other.
Penplusbytes would like to note that civil society groups, civic tech organisations and other relevant individuals can be used by the Commission to uncover efficient and cost effective means of implementing the RTI particularly in 2020 when it is being finalised.
Penplusbytes is a civic tech non-governmental organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and enhancing media oversight for effective utilization of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.