Ghana’s Right to Information (RTI) Act of 2019: Exploration of its implementation dynamics


  • Theodora Dame Adjin-Tettey Department of Media, Language and Communication, Durban University of Technology; School of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa



right to information (RTI), access to information, public information, media, human rights, civil society organisations (CSOs), principal–agent framework, Ghana, Right to Information (RTI) Act, Right to Information Commission (RTIC)


After extensive advocacy and lobbying by the media, human rights campaigners, and civil society organisations (CSOs), Ghana’s Right to Information (RTI) Act (Act 989) became law in 2019 and went into effect in January 2020. The Act sets out the procedures for access to information held by Ghanaian public institutions, with oversight by the Right to Information Commission (RTIC). The purpose of this study was to explore the dynamics of initial implementation of the law, in the years 2020-22, and to identify potential obstacles to optimal execution during that initial period. The core research data was collected via semi-structured interviews, between April and August 2022, with 10 individuals possessing deep knowledge of the Act and its implementation dynamics. This interview data was qualitatively analysed, through the lenses of the principal–agent conceptual model and the objectives of the Act, in order to determine the key themes emerging from the data. It was found that realisation of the Act’s objectives was being hampered to some extent by a lack of public awareness, and to a more substantial extent by bureaucratic blockages resulting from a mix of entrenched administrative culture and a lack of knowledge of the requirements of the Act. Based on these findings, the author recommends improved public education by the RTIC in cooperation with CSOs; strong RTIC engagement with public institutions to ensure a sufficient number of fully trained information officers (IOs); continued CSO cooperation with the Ministry of Information towards ensuring optimal implementation of the Act; CSO monitoring of the work of the RTIC; and CSO support for information access applications by journalists and other civil society actors.


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How to Cite

Adjin-Tettey, T. D. (2023) “Ghana’s Right to Information (RTI) Act of 2019: Exploration of its implementation dynamics”, The African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC). South Africa, (32), pp. 1–17. doi: 10.23962/ajic.i32.16223.



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