Maseru – Media Institute of Southern Africa MISA has commemorated International Day for Universal Access to Information IDUAI by distributing information material on media related documents in Maseru.
MISA National Director said the Day is celebrated annually to remind people of their right to access to information for their own good, saying in 2002, United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNESCO agreed on commemoration of the Day and in 2012, Table Mountain Declaration was signed entailing details on the need to mark the Day every 28th day of September.
Mr. Tsebo Mats’asa said the material which was distributed includes research articles on Freedom of Information in Africa, State of the Media in Lesotho, Report on Open and Secretive Public Institutions in Southern Africa, So This is Democracy?, African Media Barometer, A simplified translated Sesotho version of Lesotho Constitution.
Mr. Mats’asa said the commemoration will continue on Friday with the launch of a broadcasting production studio.
Meanwhile, UNESCO marked the Day by offering free access to the Internet, Books and other reading material, and the Director-General, Ms. Irina Bokova gave a speech indicating that knowledge requires access to information and this fundamental human right is essential for inclusion and dialogue while it is also a foundation for the rule of law and good governance.
Ms. Bokova said equal and universal access to information is a powerful engine for positive change, widening opportunities to overcome inequalities, to reach the marginalised, to create and share knowledge, discover other cultures, and to strengthen the foundations of democratic institutions.
This year IDUAI is commemorated with almost 98 countries all over the world having enacted Freedom of Information Laws that provide their citizens with a legal right to access information.