28th September 2023
On this auspicious day of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI), we are pleased to announce the birth of Transparency and Integrity Index (Africa) with the presentation of TII Liberia, led by the Liberia CSOs Anti-Corruption Coalition
The TII Liberia which is modeled after the Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch’s (CeFTIW) TII is a product of our commitment to expand and mainstream the Index as a tool for measuring public sector compliance with laws on open governance, transparency and accountability in the continent at large.
The Center’s vision is predicated on the fact that proactive disclosure and access to information are important ingredients of transparency, which has the capacity to prevent corruption and enhance governance. The success of the Liberia Index has therefore emboldened our resolve to pursue the digitization of public institutions for greater efficiency.
As the world celebrates the 2023 UNUAI, we cannot overemphasize the importance of the online space for access to information. The United Nations 2030 Agenda which is “universal, transformative and rights-based” cannot be actualized if rights to information are not inclusive and universal. Indeed, Irene Khan, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, is apt when she declared that “without universal and meaningful connectivity for all, the right to information is an empty promise for billions of people around the world.”
This year’s celebration therefore presents an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on efforts and expedite actions towards bridging the digital divide, focusing on regions with low digital awareness and connectivity. For instance, as a fallout of the Center’s 2023 TII, only seven out of 774 local government areas (LGAs) in Nigeria have functional websites.
We strongly believe that governments and stakeholders must work to improve citizens’ access to information (online and offline), as transparency and accountability can only be possible when citizens, media and civil society actors have access to information.