The Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Ransford Smith, yesterday said, the organisation was committed to continue supporting the Rwandan media.
He made the pledge while meeting the caretaker Minister of Information, Protais Musoni, and a group of Rwandan journalists who went to India last year for development journalism training, funded by the Commonwealth.
“Strengthening the media in Rwanda is one of the priorities of the Commonwealth,” Ransford said, adding that they will continue supporting the media, especially in capacity building.
He mentioned the Indian training and the recent international media conference held in Kigali as some of the endeavours by the commonwealth to support the development of the trade.
Smith also welcomed the recent government decision to empower the practitioners to regulate themselves as a positive way towards a booming media sector in the country.
“This is s a good move. However, practitioners need more exposure and also organise themselves into professional media associations, which would allow them to exchange practices widely,” he said.
Commenting on the issue of self regulation and capacity building, Caesar Handa, a communication consultant with the Ministry of Information, said that the success of the initiative will depend on the local journalists themselves.
“The initiative should come from the journalists themselves. It would be wrong if they sit and wait for the government to show them what to do and how to do it.” Handa said, adding that the local journalists are the ones who know what they want.
Smith is currently in the country on a mission to ascertain and identify Rwandan’s needs and formulate ways assistance could be extended.