Minister of Local Government, Francis Kaboneka made a statement during the 6th Annual National Dialogue on Media Development scheduled on 5th December, 2014. The event, held at Lemigo Hotel under the theme: “Two years after media reforms: The impact Assessment” and with objectives of transforming media business relations in Rwanda and recommend initiatives to sensitize and attract local and external private invest in the media industry.
“Media Self-Regulation is now pretty much functioning, thanks to joint efforts between Government and Journalists Associations. I would like to assure the media fraternity of unwavering government support for as long as it will take to make the Media Self-Regulatory Body stand on its own,” said Honorable Minister Kaboneka.
Mr.Auke Lootsma, the UNDP Country Director, said that one of the strongest pillars of Rwanda media reform package is its recognition of self-regulation as the most appropriate mechanism of promoting and nurturing high ethical standards and professionalism in the media, and he committed to continue support self-regulation.
“At the United Nations, we regard self-regulation as the cornerstone of the 2013 media reforms, and as such, as an integral part of realising a free, independent and pluralistic media in Rwanda,” he said.
“We have supported self-regulation with a view to help them build sustainable mechanisms to voluntarily and autonomously deal with professional and ethical media practices. We are committed to continuing this support as our contribution to deepening the 2013 media reforms,” he added.
Rwanda Media Commission Chairman, Mr. Fred MUVUNYI said Media Reforms brought about various benefits to journalists. Journalists have been able to regulate their profession, got easy access to information. All these created a favorable media environment and a free, pluralistic and independent media.
“From the last 5th National Dialogue on Media Development, RMC had 5 goals which include creating an environment where journalists are free from prosecution, censorship and interference from any interest groups. We are happy to note that no journalist is in detained or imprisoned today due to his /her professional work,” Muvunyi said.
Key institutions which the media reforms targeted had a chance to present the progress they have made thus far. These included: the Rwanda Media Commission, the media self-regulatory body, the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency which was transformed from a state to public broadcaster, and the Media High Council which changed its mandate from state media regulation to the media capacity building.
Debate focused on strategies of elevating the profile of Rwanda media businesses as a contribution both to development and democracy.
At the end of the dialogue it was agreed that media reforms should also focus on reinforce proper systems of regulation that would ensure effectiveness and efficiency of the media sector.
More photos at 6th National Dialogue on Media Development – Kigali/Rwanda