The EIDR unit has participated in the development of normative frameworks on freedom of expression in the African region. Activities include the revision of the 2002 Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression. The unit coordinated and participated in the drafting and validation of the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa. The CHR attended the sub-regional consultation that took place in Namibia on 19 and 20 September 2019, at the invitation of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa Mr Lawrence Mute.
The CHR also supported the drafting of the Guidelines of Access to Information and Elections in Africa alongside the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa between May 2016 and November 2017, when the Guidelines were adopted by the African Commission during its 61st Ordinary Session in Banjul, The Gambia. These Guidelines are a regional standard on access to information and elections ‘as a means of guaranteeing the credibility of elections and the overall strengthening of democratic governance in Africa.’
In addition, the CHR coordinated the drafting process of the Model Law on Access to Information for Africa under the auspices of the Special Rapporteur mandated by the African Commission, following the Resolution 167 (XLVII). The Model Law aims to guide the development of new access to information legislation, and the review of existing legislation in Africa; to serve as an advocacy tool to encourage the adoption of access to information laws; to compile and show best practices; and to reinforce a common approach and harmonisation of access to information laws. The drafting process lasted two and a half years with several expert meetings, four regional stakeholder consultations in Mozambique, Kenya, Senegal and Tunisia, and a public call for comments on the draft Model Law.