New Times, Xinhua ink cooperation deal

He Ping.

The New Times Publications has signed an agreement with Xinhua News Agency of China to strengthen their cooperation in news exchange and other forms of partnership.

The signing ceremony, held at The New Times headquarters at M&M Plaza, Gishushu in Kigali, was witnessed by the Xinhua’s Editor-In-Chief, He Ping, and his counterpart, Collin Haba.

The one-year deal allows either party to use the other’s content for a period of one year, subject to renewal.

The Chinese state-run news agency maintains offices in 20 African nations, including Rwanda.

Both Haba and He welcomed the development, noting that it comes at a time when Rwanda and China were witnessing strong bilateral ties.

Relations between the two countries reached a new level in July last year when Xi Jinping became the first Chinese president to visit Rwanda. During the Chinese leader’s visit, the two sides signed a raft of 15 agreements in several sectors.

“Relations between our countries have never been stronger,” He said yesterday, stressing the need for the two media organisations to actively support both countries and peoples in their partnerships.

The two media leaders observed that the mainstream media were faced with a challenge of adapting to the changing tastes and preferences of their audiences, particularly underlining the need to continuously devise ways to better serve younger populations.  

Haba talked about the vision behind the establishment of The New Times Publications in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, observing that the outlet had a primary mission of accompanying the people of Rwanda on their healing, reconciliation and reconstruction journey.

Today, he added, the company aspires to actively facilitate Rwandans as they seek to trade and engage with the rest of the world, including China.

Both Haba and He noted that the media should not only be driven by business interests in their day-to-day operations, but also deliver on their social responsibility.

“We are happy to strengthening our cooperation as we continue to seek ways to better engage and grow our audiences, including young people,” Haba said.

He, who is in Rwanda on an official visit, along with a team of Xinhua managers and editors, extended an invitation to Haba to visit their headquarters in China with view to further bolstering ties between the two media organisations.