The Pan African Parliament (PAP) has adopted a declaration to launch a campaign with the theme “Press Freedom for Development and Governance: Need for Reform” in all five Regions of Africa. The Parliament also decided to establish an annual “PAP Award on Media Freedom in Africa” for individuals, organizations and Member States as well as an annual“PAP Index on Media Freedom in Africa”.
The parliament adopted these decisions at its Dialogue on Media Freedom in Africa held on May 15, 2013 in the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa.
The PAP at its dialogue considered Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which guarantees everyone the rights to receive information and to express and disseminate his/her opinions within the law.
It acknowledged the Windhoek Declaration of 1991 which promotes an Independent and Pluralistic African Press and has stated explicitly the Right of Freedom of expression and information for every individual;
It also noted the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa 2002, the Declaration of Table Mountain 2007, the African Charter on Broadcasting 2001, and the Declaration of the African Platform on Access to Information 2011.
The Parliament also considered the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), which states in the objectives of the Parliament that it shall, among other things: “Promote the principles of human rights and democracy in Africa and “Encourage good governance, transparency and accountability in Member States”.
It congratulated the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) for its commitment to promote the right to freedom of expression by appointing a Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa by the Resolution ACHPR/Res.71 (XXXVI)04.
The PAP called upon AU Member States to use the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Right (ACHPR) Model Law on Access to Information in adopting or reviewing access to information laws. It also requested Development Partners to support the implementation of the related Resolutions with assistance and support.