KIGALI - Several high-profile media investors, managers, trainers and rights advocates from the region and beyond are in the country to attend a high-level, two-day National Dialogue on Media Development which opens today. Senate President, Dr. Vincent Biruta, is expected to officially open the dialogue.
Those invited include Reginald Mengi, owner of IPP Media, a Tanzania-based media conglomerate; Robert Kabushenga, the Chief Executive Officer of The New Vision Ltd, a Uganda Government owned media group; and Gitahi Gitinji, the Managing Director of Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper, a Nation Media Group publication.
“This is a groundbreaking conference; it’s the first of its kind in the history of media in Rwanda, and we believe it will draw a firm foundation for a robust and vibrant media sector in the country,” Patrice Mulama, the Chairman of the National Organising Committee and Executive Secretary of the Media High Council (MHC), said in a statement.
The meeting will focus on the challenges of media development in Rwanda, including professionalism, freedom and investment related issues.
The dialogue is also expected showcase media in Rwanda as a viable investment sector; share ideas on appropriate strategies to enhance the capacity of local media, and review legislative and policy frameworks.
Amadou Mahtar Ba, the co-founder of Africa Media Initiative (AMI); and Prof. Kwame Karikari, Director of Media Foundation for West Africa and former Director Ghana School of Journalism, are expected to participate.
Representatives from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA), the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Article 19, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and IREX, will also participate.
“Our media should not be seen to be reinventing the wheel; some of the challenges they are currently going through have been experienced by most of the people we’ve invited, and we believe there’s a lot to learn from them,” said Mulama.