AFRICA DAY OF INFORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT JOURNALISM AWARDS
Rwanda@25: The role of media in disruptive era”
Kigali Convention Center, November 8th 2019
Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) is a public institution whose mission is to promote the principles of good governance and decentralization and monitor the practices of good governance in public and private institutions. The institution also coordinates and supports media sector development. It registers, empowers and monitors civil society organizations and enhances civic participation.
In addition, RGB conducts research and studies related to governance, documents homegrown solutions and provides policy advocacy to the government for achieving good service delivery, sustainable development and prosperity.
The law n°56/2016 of 16/12/2016 establishing the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) and determining its mission, organization and functioning gives RGB the mandate to, among others; promote the media sector and provide advice on its operations.
In order to promote the media sector, RGB, among other interventions, regularly engages with media experts and practitioners to discuss local, regional and continental issues pertaining to media development.
Its against that background that Rwanda Governance Board is organising the celebration of the Africa Day of Information, an event set to be held on 8th November 2019. This event will bring together local journalists, media practitioners, regional and continental media experts to discuss Rwanda@25: The role of media in disruptive era”.
2.BACKGROUND OF THE AFRICA DAY OF INFORMATION
The idea to celebrate the Africa Day of Information came from the meeting of Heads of State and government who were attending the inaugural Conference of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa on May 25th, 1963. They also proposed the establishment of an African News Agency. The Pan-African news agency (PANA) was subsequently established and hosted in Dakar, Senegal.
In Rwanda, the Africa Day of Information was for the first time celebrated in 2008. There was little attention to the celebration of the day with journalists opting to celebrate the World Press Freedom day which falls on 3rd May every year.
However, this was to change in December 2015. Over 300 Rwandan journalists attending Itorero dubbed Impamyabigwi held at the National Ubutore Development Center in Nkumba Northertn province, resolved to mark the Africa Day of Information with the motivation of rallying African countries to find solutions to the challenges that they are faced with. The celebration of the day that was set aside by Africans themselves was seen as a starting point.
The objective of celebrating the Africa Day of Information is to revitalise the role of African media in the continents transformation and development in light of the Agenda 2063.
- To build strong Africa media networks to tell the African story and shape the Africa We Want
- To popularise the Africa Day of Information and encourage other African countries to use it as a platform to promote Pan-Africanism and Africa’s renaissance
- To highlight the role of African media in shaping the narrative about the continent and in promoting the aspirations of the African people as enshrined in Agenda 2063
This year, the Africa Day of Information will be celebrated under the theme: ”Rwanda@25: The role of media in disruptive era”. It is in the spirit of 25 years of Rwanda’s liberation that we have chosen this topic in a bid to gauge the contribution of media in Rwanda’s transformation journey after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, until today. The good positioning of media to better play its rightful role in this emerging disruptive era will also be discussed in local and continental contexts .
On local perspective, talks will look into the contribution of media in soio-economic transformation of Rwanda after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The Governement of Rwanda recognizes the media as an important actor in entrenching the principles of Good governance and promoting national socio-economic development. Henceforth media was put in key priorities of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) by strengthening its capacity to better fulfil its rightful role of catalyser towards national development targets.
Now, Rwanda has shifted from vision 2020 to vision 2050. This transformational journey which targets high standards of living for all Rwandans can not be achieved without an invaluable intervention of a strong media sector. Discussions will seek to know the effectiveness of Rwandan media in that process, experiences, good practices, challenges and prospects in order to shape a vibrant media sector that will deliver to expectations.
In the light of Rwanda’s vision, other African countries have respective long-term plans and strategic visions for their national development that capture their aspirations. Certainly, media has a vital role in that process especially in terms of enlightening and influencing citizens to embrace development policies designed for them.
Discusions will examine factors impeding media professionalism and proliferation, including but not limited to, media regulation, misinformation and disinformation and media business, one of the core challenges facing Africa media in this digital disruption era. Potential ways of embracing the digital disruption and uprooting exisiting challenges will be debated and concerned actors will be recommended in order to build a strong media sector that will drive Africas transformation process.
Discussions will be centered on three main topics: “A reflection on the media and its role in building a transformative and coherent society”. In line with this topic, findings on Impact Assessment of the media sector reforms will be presented and discussed. The second topic will focus on Africa media in the context of an emerging digital disruptive era and the third one “Upholding journalism quality, staying financially afloat in the digital space”.
The event is expected to highlight challenges facing africa media today and ways to get rid of them so that media can be well positioned to drive a transformational process of the continent. Key recommendations to concerned instututions will be made.
Participants of the one-day event include; civil society organizations, government officials, local media practitioners and experts, development partners, policymakers and members of the academia and, regional and continental media experts.
The celebration of the Africa Day of Information will coincide with two other important activities: presentation of the findings on Impact Assessment of the media sector reforms, as well as awarding best performing journalists and Media Houses in the renowned Development Journalism Award (DJA); aiming at promoting excellence and professionalism in Media Sector.
9.DEVELOPMENT JOURNALISM AWARDS 2019
Since 2012, Rwanda Governance Board in collaboration with various partners recognizes outstanding journalists and media houses through Development Journalism Awards (DJA). DJA 2019 is the 7th Edition of the competition whose winners take home cash prizes, trophies and certificates. About winners will be awarded in the evening of November 8th, 2019.
Protais Musoni, Chairperson, the Pan Africa Movement Rwanda Chapter
Dr Usta Kaitesi, CEO/RGB
Mr. Stephen Anthony Rodriquez, UNDP Resident Representative
Ms Leslie Richer, Director of information and communication African Union
Dr Roukaya Kasenally (CEO, Africa Media Initiative)
Louis Thomas – Director, International Federation of African Journalists
Joseph Warungu – Media Consultant from Kenya
Ms Lydia Gachugi (UNESCO Liaison Office for AU and UNECA)
Keitirele Mathapi -President, Executive Council of African Union of Broadcasting