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Improving access to information in Cameroon

  • Amount funded: £598,000
  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Locations: Cameroon
  • Grant stream: Open grants call
Issue

Despite existing legal protections, freedom of expression and information access in Cameroon are hindered by a challenging political environment which restricts the work of journalists and activists and inhibits public internet usage.

Project partners
Network for Solidarity, Empowerment and Transformation for All (NewSETA)
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How we are helping

This project aims to improve access to information by bringing together civil society organisations, journalists, members of parliament and the senate, and government officials, to discuss ways to strengthen the legislative framework on access to information.

About the project

Researchers and the general public in Cameroon face institutional barriers to accessing public information. Despite some existing legal provisions, internet access is sometimes restricted, media outlets face being shut down and there have been instances where activists have had their social media accounts suspended. In recent years, there has been positive progress with exchanges and dialogues where journalists, civil society organisations, and citizens have been able to engage with parliamentarians and government to discuss issues such as access to information and pathways to regulating hate speech.

NewSETA will build on this progress to address the barriers relating to access to information and to improve the environment for freedom of expression in Cameroon. This project aims to gather evidence which can support reforms for improved open and accountable government processes and increased citizen participation.

This will be achieved by:

  • carrying out research and producing a report on the realisation of access to information and freedom of expression in Cameroon, to obtain a better understanding of existing challenges and opportunities to enhance the legislative framework
  • convening multi-stakeholder dialogues with civil society, government representatives, and members of parliament and of the senate on the findings of the report and recommendations for changes to the existing framework
  • producing a draft Freedom of Information Act for Cameroon and advocating for its discussion and potential adoption, through a series of meetings with members of parliament and of the senate.

As a result of the project, it is hoped that government processes will become more open and accountable, citizens will be better equipped to participate in policy discussion on access to information and that there will be enhanced protection for journalists and actors in the media landscape.

Project Partners
Network for Solidarity, Empowerment and Transformation for All (NewSETA)

Network for Solidarity, Empowerment and Transformation for All (NewSETA) is a non-profit association in Cameroon which aims to strengthen youth and institutional capacities and actively engage communities in initiatives that improve social wellbeing. NewSETA strives to achieve this goal through non-partisan research and informational activities, strengthening democracy and peace and empowering young people to be more responsible, creative and actively engaged in nation building.

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