The CSO Coalition on Freedom of Information, which includes representatives of IFJ affiliate the Gambia Press Union (GPU), presented the draft bill as part of an ongoing dialogue between civil society and the authorities to improve freedom of information and media in the Gambia.
The text was shared with local and international partners and experts for comments to ensure that the new law will meet international media standards while reflecting local realities. Its drafting was financed by the United Nations Democracy Fund through a two-year project implemented by the GPU.
John Charles Njie, chairman of the coalition, said that “the draft bill is part of civil society’s contribution in complementing the government’s efforts towards an inclusive and citizens-led process of putting in place legislative guarantees for the exercise and enjoyment of the right to information”.
Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou welcomed the move by the Coalition and said authorities will work to “hopefully present something before the National Assembly by the end of this year”.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We hail the work of the GPU in establishing an inclusive dialogue with the authorities, who must listen and consider views from civil society bodies. The IFJ supports collective efforts towards press freedom and calls for this law to be introduced without delay”.