IDUAI 2022: Environmentalist, Inclusion advocate, Journalist make case for an Information Act in Cameroon

By Hilltopvoices 

Several voices have expressed the need for an information Act in Cameroon. The need for the public information accessibility tool was expressed during an online event to observe the 2022 International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) organised by Hilltopvoices Communications Group Ltd. 
Lohshie Eugene Velon host of the live stream (in blue) and Chick Sama (in red t-shirt) on Set 

While stating that public information should be a right and not a privilege, Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy Environmentalist and Director of Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW) noted that the work of journalists should reflect the local realities. Information users especially the press should angage meaningful information search especially from the grassroots with the hope that an information Act can facilitate the obtaining of information from policy makers. The environmentist recommended effective collaboration between the press and non-profit organisation, networks, NGOs, other Civil society organisations in advocacy for such an instrument. 
Lohshie Eugene Velon host of the live stream (in blue) with Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy on set 

"It is very important that anybody who is sitting in any office to know that it is a public office and therefore all information in that office belongs to the people because the people put them in that place." Wirsiy noted admitting that an information act will facilitate access to environmental information. 
The coordinator of the Coordinating Unit of Association of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWD) in demanding for an information Act emphasised the need for the act to be accessible to members of his association. According to Chick Sama, very little is done at the moment to ensure that persons with disabilities access information. With over a billion people with disabilities around the world, the Inclusion advocate insist that persons with disabilities must enjoy the Universal right. 

"We talk about access to information, many people only think about ramps, wheelchairs and others... but I am saying that, when we talk about information from public space or information at the communication or media ends, it is keeping away persons with disabilities. For example: in most cases we use audiovisual fora to pass on information and i am wondering how those who do not hear get this information or how those who do not see can get the Information." Sama said 

Accepting that an information Act is a great necessity now, he cautioned that it is important for such an act to consider the National laws on the right of persons with disabilities as well as the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. 

"We may still have an Information Act in Cameroon which may never be known by persons with disabilities. That is to say the act itself is not accessible reason why the act must state that it shall be available in all formats." Chick Sama stated 

DW Corespondent for Cameroon Ngong Song Jean Marie in sharing is experience as an international correspondent said he only benefits from cultivated access to information and maintained that an information Act will make access to information a thing for all and not a privileged few. 
Lohshie Eugene Velon host of the live stream with Ngong Song Jean Marie on set 

Reflections around this year's event where centered around "artificial intelligence, e-Governance and access to information." 

Hilltopvoices Communications Group Ltd Administrator and Lead Strategist Bakah Derick who is also that National Vice President in charge of International Relations of the Cameroon Journalists' Trade Union (CJTU) expressed to the host and guests who showed up for the live stream. 
Lohshie Eugene Velon host of the live stream (in blue jacket) and Bakah Derick (in shirt) on set 

According to him, apart from world press freedom day observed on May 3, day to end impunity against Journalists on November 2, September 28 is a very important date for those who use information as their raw material as it focuses on access to this information. 

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