The news by Information Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, that the School of Journalism and Communications is to relocate to Kigali should be welcomed and embraced by all players in the media industry.
Given the gap that has existed in terms of professional journalists in the local media industry, investment in training practising journalists will go a long way.
The media is among the fast developing sectors in Rwanda, with much investments being earmarked, to further propel this.
Over the months the Ministry of Information has announced some of the reforms that we all hope will lead to a vibrant growing media.
The government for instance is mooting the establishment of the Media Assistance Fund, as part of the plans to overhaul the industry that has previously been accused of lagging behind over other institutions on the country’s development agenda.
The fund aims to build the capacity of the various media out-lets.
On top of that late last year, it was announced that new players will soon be investing in the local industry, mentioned then was Kenya’s Nation Media Group. All this and more demands that there to be a workforce that is up to the challenging tasks ahead.
The media unfortunately was one of the 1994 Genocide’s victims, as many were arrested for inciting the killings through ‘hate speech’, all existing institutions were therefore demolished, as they did not suit present needs. The media literary died, needing resuscitation.
Rebuilding the country’s shattered economy, knitting society’s social fabric together and starting afresh have been at the top of the country’s leadership priorities. Now they change gear as they escalate the sector by sector reforms, the media included.
The proximity of the current school in Butare has always been an excuse by some practitioners for their unwillingness to enrol and further their studies, to boost the capacity of the media houses they work for.
All employers and employees alike should, once the school is established in Kigali, collectively take advantage of the facility as it is for their benefit.
For employers and owners of media outlets they will develop a professional workforce that will definitely improve their production, while the journalists will inevitably acquire the much-needed professional training.