The General Assembly of the Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) will be held in Kampala, Uganda, from March 3 to 4, 2016 in accordance with Article 13(c) of the Constitution. The General Assembly which will be holding in Kampala, Uganda has an overall objective to discuss progress of pursuit of AFIC goals.
AFIC was first registered and operated from Nigeria under the Guidance of Media Rights Agenda since 2007. At the beginning of 2010, the organisation’s Secretariat shifted to Kampala and obtained legal status in October of the same year. The last General Assembly which held in January 2014 saw the election of a new Governing council, ratification of the constitution and adoption of a strategic plan. The Assembly also discussed and approved membership policy as well as the organisation’s code of conduct. Significantly, members having not met since 2006 entrenched the sitting of General Assembly every 2 years.
The specific objectives of AFIC’s General Assembly 2016 are:
- Receive and discuss report of the Governing Council
- Review implementation of programmes
- Discuss capacity and technical needs of members
- Hold consultation meeting of project, “enhancing good governance through citizens’ access to information in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda
The General Assembly will comprise three parts: a) members assembly, b) capacity strengthening workshops and c) strategy meeting.
The Members Assembly is chaired by the chairperson and will be convened in line with the stipulations of AFIC’s constitution. The meeting will last half day of March 3, 2016. The meeting will involve consideration of Minutes of the previous General Assembly and statutory reports (Steering Committee, Treasurer and Executive Director) as well as election of Governing Council/board. The meeting will be open to guests who wish to observe the proceedings. For the benefit of members from francophone countries
Workshops on capacity strengthening for freedom of information advocacy and litigation and other areas will be conducted during the General Assembly to strengthen members’ capacities to plan and effectively execute activities in these areas. The areas of need were identified when AFIC has through Survey Monkey sought from all AFIC members’ areas for consideration for capacity strengthening. Facilitators of the workshops will mainly be AFIC members with expertise and experience in these fields. The parallel workshops will be held on the afternoon of day 1, March 3, 2016.
At the Strategy Meeting, AFIC members, Secretariat together with implementing partners (Article 19, Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation and HURINET) in the 3 countries will engage experiences and lessons from the project, Enhancing good governance through citizens’ access to information in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda. The objective of the meeting is to share experiences, draw lessons and identify ideas for scaling up in the project’s implementation phase after June 2016.
General Assembly of members is expected to:
- Consider and approve report of the GC
- Consider and approve Treasurer’s Report
- Elect/ fill positions falling vacant in GC
- Training of members on FOI advocacy, litigation and (Open Contracting)
- Share lessons from pilot projects and suggest areas for scaling up
- Give policy directives
Media Rights agenda will be one of the 35 participants of the AFIC General, Assembly holding at Kampala. Other participants include Centre for Media Freedom-Middle East and North Africa (CMF MENA), Comité des Droits de l’Homme et Développement (CODHOD), DR Congo Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Accra Ghana Human Rights Network- Uganda (HURINET-U), International Commission of Jurists Kenya (ICJ), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Media Institute for South Africa (MISA), Namibia, Open Democracy Advisory Centre (ODAC), Right to Know Nigeria (R2K), Nigeria; University of Botswana, Botswana among others.
Observers at the meeting will include: Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), Nigeria; Open Society Human Rights Initiative, Swedish Embassy, Kampala; Norwegian Embassy, Kampala; Netherlands Embassy, Kampala.