Press Release- Rapid Growth for Open Government Partnership in Africa

  • At OGP Global Summit
  • OGP welcomes Cote d’Ivoire to the Open Government Partnership
  • South Africa becomes OGP Lead co-Chair

Mexico City, 28 October 2015 – The Government of South Africa today formally took over the lead co-chairmanship of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in a ceremony at the 2015 OGP Global Summit in Mexico. OGP also welcomed Cote d’Ivoire, bringing the total of African countries in the partnership to ten.

South Africa was one of the eight founding countries of OGP in 2011, alongside Brazil, Mexico, Norway, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UK and the US, and has been co-chair over the past year with Mexico, which is hosting the 2015 OGP Global Summit.

"The OGP offers all of us a unique opportunity to advance the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development” said Cyril Ramaphosa Deputy President of South Africa.  He continued, “We all want to be part of solutions that ensure that ways of production and consumption are sustainable and that progress does not come at an irreversible cost to the environment. Indeed we want to ensure that through openness and empowerment of citizens with information, social, technological and economic progress is in harmony with nature.”

South Africa has been an active member of the OGP Steering Committee and has played a key role in convening OGP-Africa regional events and discussion forums aimed at deepening good governance practices on the African continent.

Mukelani Dimba, Executive Director of South African civil society organization ODAC and a member of the OGP Steering Committee, said: “There is great potential for OGP to advance democracy, human rights and natural resource protection in Africa. However, belonging to OGP should not be seen as an automatic stamp of approval, it is a good first step but what matters is the quality and completion of OGP commitments.”

In a blog for a special OGP Summit Section of the Huffington Post, Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma wrote” Open government in Sierra Leone is already paying dividends. The use of open data, which enabled authorities to rapidly share outbreak and treatment information among medical professionals and the community, greatly enhanced the country's Ebola response. We hope to build on these gains to continue making the government work better and smarter for the people.”
Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto welcomed the government of Cote d’Ivoire to OGP. It joins nine other African nations; South Africa, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Cabo Verde and Tunisia.

Cote d’Ivoire was represented by Charles Koffi Diby, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who said on behalf of his government that, “Ivory Coast is very happy to join other OGP countries and is dedicated to working together with all of the partners. We subscribe to the Open Government Declaration of September 2011.”

Note to Editors

1. About the Open Government Partnership
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative that was launched in 2011 to provide a platform for domestic reformers to secure concrete commitments and make their governments more responsive, accountable and transparent to their citizens. The OGP promotes the principles of transparency, accountability, citizen participation and innovation in 66 member countries (69 as of Wed. October 28) that have profited from its global platform to make over 2,000 open government commitments. For further information visit: www.opengovpartnership.org

2. About the Open Government Global Summit
Every two years, the Country Chair hosts the OGP Global Summit, the largest gathering of open government practitioners from all over the world. Representatives from governments, academia, civil society and multilateral organizations get together to exchange experiences and share best practices and major developments in open government. The Summit presents an opportunity to raise the profile of open government issues internationally and to explore how they link to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

3. For further detailed information regarding the link between OGP and the UN’s 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development please see our paper: How Can the Open Government Partnership Accelerate Implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development?

4. Follow latest Summit developments:
● Summit Website: http://ogpsummit.org
● Twitter: #OGP15  @opengovpart
● Livestream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgROj6pnvMY 
● Huffington Post Special Series: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/open-government-partnership/

 

Filed Under: OGP News