Press Freedoms in Nigeria and South Africa face different fortunes?

Posted on Monday, 12 September 2011 16:44

After almost a decade of pressure from civil-society groups, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan signed a Freedom of Information Act into law on 28 May – becoming the second African country after Liberia to have such legislation.

It requires institutions that spend public money to reveal details demanded by citizens – which could fundamentally change the way government works in Nigeria.

In South Africa there has been a chorus of protest against the ANC government’s revival of a Protection of Information Bill.

Trade union COSATU is worried about the implications for whistleblowers, while the Right2Know campaign is concerned about who will classify documents.

Now business leaders have entered the fray with Pick ‘n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman warning that a “self-protective environment” would be seen negatively by international markets.

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