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PRESS RELEASE: South Africa makes major commitment towards financial transparency as regional government and civil society leaders gather

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Cape Town, South Africa– May 5, 2016.  Over 500 high-level participants from civil society organizations, business, academia, multilateral organizations and governments are expected to attend the two-day Africa Regional Open Government Partnership (OGP) Meeting, May 5-6 at the Century City Conference Center in Cape Town under the banner of: “Open Government for Africa’s Sustainable Development.”

"As one of the global initiatives that encourage trust in the relationship between governments and civil society, the OGP has already managed to facilitate some very important changes in a relatively short period of time” said Ayanda Dlodlo, South Africa's Deputy Minister for Public Service Administration. “As the current OGP Steering Committee co-chair and a leader on open government in Africa, South Africa is especially pleased to use this occasion to present a National Action Plan that includes a commitment to create a public Beneficial Ownership registry, in order to protect the integrity and transparency of the global financial and public procurement systems.”

Also on the agenda for discussion at the meeting will be implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals using the OGP platform, illicit financial flows, open contracting, open data in Africa, supporting youth in open government and advancing Access to Justice on the continent and elsewhere.

Mukelani Dimba, executive director of the Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC) and newly elected co-chair of the OGP Steering Committee (along with Georgia, both effective for two years starting October 1, 2016) commented on data from OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism that shows that while the Africa region tends to have the greatest ambition in its commitments, these countries also currently tend to be the least likely to carry out implementation. "I hope that with meetings like this one, and tools like the OGP National Action Plans, African leaders will realize that they need greater participation from citizens if they are to successfully create and implement changes needed to meet the pressing challenges of our continent including the triple challenge of inequality, poverty and unemployment.”

Founded by eight governments, including South Africa, and nine Civil Society Organizations at a United Nations side event in September 2011, OGP has grown to include hundreds of CSOs and 69 governments, including ten in Africa: Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Tanzania, Tunisia, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

Notes to Editors:

1.     About the Open Government Partnership

OGP launched in September 2011 with eight governments and nine civil society organizations. Today OGP is composed of 69 governments and hundreds of civil society organizations who together have made over 2,500 commitments to bring about greater transparency and accountability, facilitating real changes that improve the lives of citizens around the world. For further information visit: www.opengovpartnership.org

2.     About the Open Government Partnership’s Regional Meetings

Regional Meetings provide an important opportunity for regional reformers, and those from abroad, to come together to exchange open government experiences, and share best practices and latest news with a special focus on the Region. Through panels and interactive workshops, Regional Meetings help connect members of government, academia, civil society, business and multilateral organizations facilitating peer learning across countries and continents.

3.     Follow latest the latest developments from the Africa Regional Meeting:

●      Africa Regional Meeting Website

●      Twitter: #OGPAfrica2016  @opengovpart

●      Livestream of opening plenary (May 5, 9:00 - 11:00 GMT+2) and closing plenary (May 6, 15:30 - 17:00 GMT+2)  

MEDIA CONTACT

Open Government Partnership Support Unit

Dietlind Lerner, Communications Director

dietlind.lerner@opengovpartnership.org

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