A series providing a round-up of media attention received by the Open Government Partnership throughout the world.
We’ve got stories out of Italy and Malaysia, but this week’s OGP media coverage was strongest in Africa and in Nigeria, in particular.
Nigerian extractive prospects are looking up for the Niger Delta, which has a history rich in both natural resources and corruption. Commending the budding partnership between the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Communications Manager of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku authored an opinion piece for The Nigerian Times encouraging the Nigerian government to use its 2017-2019 OGP National Action Plan (NAP) to foster good governance and development practices in the Niger Delta. In another piece for The Nation, Etemiku applauded Nigeria’s NAP for having been “developed with a lot of effort from civil society and the business community.”
Also in Nigeria, a press release picked up by Nigeria’s Premium Times and TheCable featured comments by Waziri Adio, Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). Reiterating Etemiku’s sentiments, Adio underscored the importance of open contracting and beneficial ownership in combatting corruption and pointed out that Nigeria’s membership in OGP can act as a “timely platform to push for disclosure of beneficial owners of companies in the extractive industries.”
In Tunisia, French-speaking news outlet Webmanagercenter.com and Tunis Afrique Presse heralded a soon-to-launch youth petition platform. The result of collaboration between Tunisia’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Majdouline Cherni, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), this interactive e-platform will fulfill one of the country’s key 2016-2018 OGP NAP commitments around civic participation. Quoting OECD representative Katharina Zuegel, the platform also promises to “win back the trust of citizens, particularly young people.”
More open government excitement was recorded by Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore, which announced that Italy’s Department of Public Administration and Simplification, led by Marianna Madia, will be hosting “Open Administration Week.” The seven-day-long series of “initiatives to make available to citizens and public administrations useful tools to implement the principles of Open Government” coincides with international Open Data Day on March 4, and is part of Minister Madia’s efforts to encourage greater Italian participation in OGP.
Not to be outshone by Italy, South Africa’s IT Web reported OGP South Africa is working with the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism to organize its own Open Data Day festivities.
In news from non-OGP countries, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Chief Executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) penned an opinion piece for Malaysia’s English-language news publication, The Star. Reflecting on the legacy of Malaysia’s first post-Independence Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Alhaj, he also drew parallels between the work of IDEAS and that of OGP in restoring trust in public institutions.
Another opinion piece published on Medium came from Ana Brandusescu of Open Heroines about the wave of protests that have sprung up in Romania following a government decree decriminalizing official misconduct passed without input from parliament. The author called for greater conversation and action within the open government community on this matter.
And last but not least, OGP has added another team member into the #opengov fold—please welcome Theophilous Chiviru as the new Government Support & Exchange Officer for Africa!
Of course, we can’t catch everything in our news round-ups, so if you see we’ve missed something or think a particular story ought to be featured, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.