Clarification on the issue of outdoor advertising in the City of Kigali
Kigali, 23rd November 2016
In an effort to address the issue of disorder and congestion of billboards in road reserves and junctions, the City of Kigali Council passed outdoor advertising regulations in 2012, published in the Official Gazette as No. 05/12 of 28/10/2012. The new regulations were designed to comply with the traffic and road safety laws.
In December 2015 all outdoor advertisers and stakeholders were requested to comply with the new regulations withina period of 6 months. Also in September 2016, the City of Kigali met members of the Rwanda Outdoor Adverting Association on several occasions and there was an agreement to implement the standardswithina two weeks period.
However, the members of the association acted selectively, and removed only the billboards belonging to non-association members.
In addition, consultations were conducted on numerous occasions with the billboard owners and other stakeholders.The Kigali City Council amended outdoor advertising instructions No. 05/12 of 28/10/2012 to not only comply with the road safety laws but also modernize outdoor advertising in the City of Kigali. This amendment waspublished in the Official Gazette No. 42 of 17/10/2016.
It is also important to point out that in October 2016 the City of Kigali invited members of Rwanda Outdoor Adverting Association to take part in the tender process for outdoor advertising in accordance with the new standards.
To accommodate the local businessmen dealing in outdoor advertising, the City of Kigali changed the tender from international to a local one. Rather than take part, seven of the Association members opted to go to High Court to seek an injunction to stop the tender process. They lost the court case.
The new billboard advertising directive seeks to comply with traffic and road safety laws, which most existing billboards do not conform to. The City of Kigali wishes to point out that the outdoor advertising tender opportunities are still available and outdoor advertising companies can take part in the remaining lots.
Therefore, after the High Court verdict authorising the City of Kigali to go ahead with implementing the new outdoor advertising regulations, the City of Kigali will proceed with the Implementation of the City Council instructions on outdoor advertising No. 01/09 of 15/09/2016 published in the Official Gazette on 17th October 2016. These instructions gave advertisers a grace period of one month for implementation and that period expired on 18th November 2016.
Mayor, City of Kigali