Rwanda Office of Information (ORINFOR) officials have asked government to waive taxes on printing materials to enable the cost of printing newspapers be more affordable once the Euro 1.2million web machine starts operation next year.
Speaking during a consultative meeting Thursday, Willy Rukundo, the Acting Director General of ORINFOR said that the move would save media owners from printing their papers outside the country.
“We have written to the Ministry of Information (MINFOR) to help us with this issue,” Rukundo said. He said that the materials used for printing are expensive and because Rwanda is far from the coast, transport charges are high, making the materials even more costly.
According to a study comparing the printing costs, Rukundo said that in Rwanda, a newspaper printed by the new web machine could cost Frw482 while one printed from Uganda could go for 474frw.
“If we can have the taxes exempted, ORINFOR web machine can have a paper out at frw 354,” Rukundo said. “The print media here will find this very helpful as they will see no reason for going out of the country.”
Meanwhile, during the consultative meeting with media practitioners and owners, MIINIFOR Director General Ignatius Kabagambe announced that government didn’t find the idea of a media support fund appropriate.
“Government was advised by experts in media that the idea of giving money to media practitioners does not build capacity and it does develop the reading culture,” Kabagambe said.
“So, it was decided that more efforts be put in strengthening capacity for those in the media and enhancing entrepreneurship skills,” he added.