On July 1, 2021, the National Assembly of The Gambia passed into law the Access of Information Bill. The change of government in 2016 promised greater transparency and accountability in the way public affairs are handled. Yet, the process of achieving this has been slow and difficult.
However, in what underlines the commitment of the government and people of The Gambia to consolidate democracy, the rule of law and transparent governance, the Access of Information Law has finally been passed. Like Ghana’s RTI law which suspended implementation for one year in order to lay the enabling administrative structures, The Gambians are also being cautious not to rush things. They have given themselves two years to fine-tune the administrative and logistical set-up for an effective implementation of their ATI Law.
AFEX’s member in The Gambia, Gambia Press Union, has put together a report documenting the process leading to the adoption of the ATI Law in The Gambia. It also analyses the uncertain future with regards to the implementation of the provisions of the ATI legislation. It flags the lack of adequate information officers at government ministries and departments as well as the absence of data centres to facilitate the gathering, storage and dissemination of information.