On 14 and 15 June 2017, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the School of Law of the University of Nairobi, in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (Special Rapporteur), Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, organised a consultation on the draft ‘Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa’ (Draft Guidelines).
The purpose of the consultation was to elicit comments on the Draft Guidelines from various stakeholders with a view to strengthening its content. The event was attended by a broad range of stakeholders including Election Management Bodies, political parties, National Human Rights Institutions, media, academics and civil society organisations.
This consultation was the second consultation on the Draft Guidelines. The first consultation which was for southern Africa, was held on 14 and 15 March 2017 in Maputo, Mozambique. The feedback received from these consultations together with others received through the public call for comments made by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, will guide amendments to the working text.
The Draft Guidelines are being developed pursuant to Resolution 307 of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), adopted in August 2015, authorising the Special Rapporteur to develop guidelines on access to information and elections for Africa. In May 2016, an experts meeting was held to discuss broad principles to be contained in the Guidelines. Subsequently, a Working Group composed of some participants at the initial experts meeting was held in August 2016 to discuss in greater detail, the content of the Draft Guidelines. Once finalised, it is expected that the Draft Guidelines will be adopted by the ACHPR in 2017.