Sierra Leone to pass FOI Bill tomorrow

By Olusegun A. Ogundeji – The Sierra Leone legislative arm will tomorrow ratify the long awaited Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill after it had been read and debated previously and sent to the Legislative Committee for some amendment.

This will make Sierra Leone be one of the few countries in Africa with an enated FOI law which will allow individuals or institutions to request any public information from any public or private institution leading to speedy cross-checking of information in the country.
The Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Kargbo said the ratification of the bill is an indiation of the government’s readiness to reform the media landscape in Sierra Leone. “This is a government of reforms,” Kargbo said as he disclosed that President Ernest Koroma has assured diplomats that he will sign the bill as soon as it becomes a law.

Speaking at the launching of the 2010 state of the media report, Mr. Kargbo said his government is committed to the process which can foster transparency and good governance.

Executive Director of Society for Democratic Initiative (SDI), Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, who had been campaigning for the FOI bill to be enacted for over seven years praised the government for improving the system of governance and charged media practitioners to be responsive in their acts as the development of the nation lies with them.