Rwanda, will next week, host a Commonwealth Forum on Media and Economic Development.
The forum, organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in conjunction with the government, will run from March 29 to April 1.
According to the caretaker Minister of Information, Protais Musoni, the forum will bring together local and international media practitioners to discuss media development and professionalism, as well as emerging economic development and democracy issues in Rwanda.
The last two days of the forum will be dedicated to training local journalists, which will be facilitated by leading media practitioners.
The four-day event, is expected to stimulate debate on emerging issues in a globalising world and the role, obligations and responsibilities of the media, government, political leadership, as well as business leaders.
“The above are seen as agents of economic development within a multiparty democracy. The forum will be used to explore parameters for good governance and the linkages with media practice,” Musoni said.
“This forum will bring together reputable media practitioners, various academic experts, local journalists, business and political leaders and other important stakeholders to discuss and share their views and experiences on this important subject matter.” The minister added.
Musoni said that both the Commonwealth and the government share the conviction that a vibrant, accountable and professional media is a cornerstone for building strong, effective and accountable democratic institutions - key drivers of good governance and development.
He noted that the government knows that the establishment of an independent, pluralistic, responsible and free press is essential in the enhancement and maintenance of democracy, and to the achievement of sustainable economic development.
“It is in this regard that the Commonwealth Secretariat has partnered with the government to support the nurturing of an environment conducive to professional journalism and media practice,” Musoni said
“This is just but one of the initiatives that the government, with the support of players in the media sector and development partners, is putting in place to further liberalize and develop the media sector to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the flow of information both in and outside the government,” added the Minister.
Other initiatives that the government is working on include the migration of ORINFOR from analog to digital broadcasting, which is almost complete, with the only remaining part being the installation of microwave links, to be completed in early April.
Musoni said that digitalization of ORINFOR is instrumental in improving the flow of information to the public.
The government is financing the project to the tune of US$12m.