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Liberia has best FOI laws

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The Executive Director for the Center for Media Studies and PeaceBuilding, Malcolm Joseph says Liberia is the first country in West Africa with the best Freedom of Information Laws, which all Liberians should be proud of.

He said Liberians having access to the FOI laws will actually help to strengthen the growth of the country. Speaking Wednesday, 28 September Mr. Joseph said Liberia joining other countries around the world to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the “International Right to Know Day” is significant, describing the occasion as a good day for the country.

He pointed out that though Liberia has the best FOI laws on the book, but in terms of implementation, there were still challenges, stressing that a massive awareness program on the laws will help to upgrade the mindset of the citizenry.

The Liberian journalist and media trainer further used the occasion to applaud the Liberia Freedom of Information Coalition for its tireless work toward information dissemination, and urged them to remain strong in their scope of operation in spite of circumstances that may likely come their way.

Mr. Joseph emphasized that since Liberia is the first country to have the FOI laws in West Africa, what needs to be done for other countries to emulate is to encourage international and local partners to collaborate in ensuring that information accessible to all.

He however expressed disappointment that as the day was being celebrated here, the first FOI case that was taken to the Independent Information Commission is still pending, adding that for some years now the case has not ended.

He called on the Commission to make sure the case is pursued to the letter, and disclosed the matter involves his entity – the Center for Media Studies and PeaceBuilding and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, LACC.

According to him, everyone is looking at the LACC to be a credible organization that should publicly come down with ruling into the case, but it has refused to do so, something he described as a disservice to the populace.

By Zee Roberts-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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