Gov't still committed to passing RTI bill – Oppong Nkrumah assures

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says government is doing all it can to ensure that the Right to Information (RTI) bill is passed to allow Ghanaians access to information. For over a decade, parliament has failed to pass the bill despite criticisms and demands by the media, civil society groups and individuals for its immediate passage. Notwithstanding, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah is optimistic the bill will be passed in 2019, stating “We are very committed to passing it when Parliament resume next year”. He noted that most of the work that has to be done to ensure that the bill is passed has been dealt with. “Parliament has gone past clause 50 of the RTI bill and is almost near the conclusion of consideration. However the budget season has delayed the passage of the RTI. Some say the right already exist but only requires a passing procedure act. The Minister gave the assurance while speaking at a meeting with the newly appointed head of the UNESCO office in Ghana, Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo in Accra. Mr. Oppong Nkrumah used the opportunity to appeal to UNESCO to support government’s efforts to promote press freedom. According to him, government is keen on promoting a robust culture of press freedom, and will appreciate support from the UNESCO to realise this. “We will continue to work towards the strengthening of the space for free expression,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said. Mr. Diallo’s visit to the Information Minister and his deputies was to formally introduce himself after he took office in November this year. Mr. Oppong Nkrumah praised the contributions of UNESCO towards promoting an independent and pluralistic press while thanking the organisation for sponsoring the 2018 World Press Freedom celebrations which was hosted in Ghana in May. Mr. Diallo praised the excellent relations that exit between Ghana and UNESCO and assured its reinforcement. He congratulated the Information Minister for his leadership role and pledged to work together with the Ministry of Information. Until his appointment Mr. Diallo also worked as head of the UNESCO office in Kinshasa and UNESCO representative to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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