KIGALI - The Media High Council (MHC) yesterday launched a fully equipped press centre which will facilitate both local and international journalists to effectively cover the August 9 Presidential elections.
The media centre known as Rwanda Press Centre located in town between the former Rwanda Tourism and Parks office (ORTPN) building and the Ministry of Finance was officially opened by Protais Musoni, the Cabinet Affairs Minister who also the caretaker of the Ministry of Information.
The Minister noted that the centre is part of the government plan to promote access to information by the public so that those who want any kind of information on Rwanda get it first hand.
Musoni commended MHC for the initiative and called upon journalists to maximise its use. He said the initiative fits well within the government’s programme of promoting access to information and effective service delivery.
The “One Stop-centre” which boasts of high speed internet and information points as well an updated website, was set up in conjunction with the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and will be providing all information related to elections, campaigns as well as accreditation for journalists covering elections.
According to Patrice Mulama, the Executive Secretary of MHC, the centre also boasts of a website interlinked with the MHC website where journalists can apply online for accreditation. The centre will be also used by journalist to fix interviews and provide free business facilities.
“The centre will deliver most of the above services online to exploit current trends in technological progress, hence contribute to the provision of a conducive environment to enhance the media’s role in the 2010 Presidential elections,”.
“I call upon the media to join the rest of the Rwandan community in strengthening the democratization process by reporting freely and responsibly on the events surrounding the August 2010 Presidential campaigns and elections,” Mulama said at the launch.
He added that the facility which was also established with the help of Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Ministries of Information (MININFOR) and Infrastructure (MINIFRA) will be rich with information on elections for journalists to dig through, while for the international press, the centre will provide information on Rwanda.
“The Rwanda Press Centre and the MHC website are highly interactive and dynamic. They are web media platforms that contain integrated features that facilitate user submission of online requests to get instant feedback on particular services offered the press centre and MHC,” Mulama said.
www.rwandapresscentre.org is built on an open source Joomla Content Management system.
The Media High Council (MHC) also used the opportunity to officially launch its new corporate identity (logo) and website. The features of the websites includes an online library, accreditation, complaints management system and online application for licenses.