Right To Information Day Public Lecture, 2022
The Board of the Right to Information (RTI) Commission instituted an annual RTI celebration a year ago and this year’s Right to Information was celebrated over the week, under the theme “Artificial Intelligence, e-Governance and Access to Information.”
Present at the function were stakeholders, dignitaries from the Kingdom of Morocco, Professor Amin Alhassan, Director General, GBC, David Owusu Amoah, Director, Information Services Dept., Abdul Ramani Dialo, UNESCO, Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator and representatives from various media houses.
Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator reiterated the need for access to information as a key factor in a developing nation like Ghana and emphasized that such information deepens democracy and deepens the social contract between citizens and the state.
Using Acts and sections that support and explain the right to information passage, the Dept. Attorney General and the Dept. Minister for Justice Honorable Diana Asonaba Dapaah at the Right to information week celebration which coincides with the 2022 International day for universal access to information on September 28, 2022, as the key speaker said the right to information was finally passed in 2019 by President Akufo-Addo. She further explained why the act was passed when she said, “The passage of act 989 is the demonstration of this government’s resolve to uphold the principles of accountable governance and entrench democracy and transparency.”
She proceeded with her speech as she quoted from section one of the act 989 which permits “a person, everyone, whether natural or legal person such as companies or other bodies is entitled to information under the act without any question” This means that as a person or institution you have the right to access whatever information you need from anyone supposing the person has it.
She also shared light on challenges in retrieving information at government agencies. Key amongst them were financial constraints, low ICT skills and lack of appropriate persons for the job which hamper effective running of RTI systems.
Written by Magdaline Masopeh
NAFTI Broadcast Journalism, Level 400