Monday, 24th October 2021, RJSD (Rwanda Journalists for Sustainable Development) held a zoom/webinar to discuss with all stakeholders on SDGs the media’s role in accelerating the sustainable development goals of SDGs in Rwanda and other African countries in general.  

It is a virtual conference that brings together various leaders from government, civil society organizations, private sector, journalists and university students from school of journalism.

It was part of the celebration of WORLD DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION DAY, which coincided with the celebration of World Media and Information Literacy Week (from October 24 to 31, 2021).

Mr. Emmanuel Mugisha, the executive secretary of RMC (Rwanda Media Commission) who opened the dialogue publicly, said journalists should be aware of their role in boosting the country’s economy and helping the public better understanding on development programs.

Mr. Emmanuel Mugisha, the executive secretary of RMC

“We want others to have similar conversations, dialogue as we really thank RJSD for this effort, it would be very helpful for different people to understand the role of the professional journalism. We also need open discussions like this, especially on issues related to media and information literacy for helping our community to have more understanding our sector” Mr Mugisha said.

Mr Placide NGIRINSHUTI, the legal representative of RJSD reminded participants the importance of the media in accelerating the goals of sustainable development, as it is the cornerstone of sustainable development.

“The media is very important in building sustainable development. When you have a population without information that helps them to thrive, and even leaders who don’t know how to provide the information needed at all levels, it’s hard to believe you can achieve sustainable development. We, as the RJSD, want all sectors to work with the media, so that the culture of access to information and communication or the exchange of information accelerates the development of Rwanda.” Mr Ngirinshuti said.

Madame Peace Hillary, the chairperson of WMOC (Women Media Owners for Change) participated in dialogue and gave keynote speeches highlighting the role of women and girls’ journalists in producing information for sustainable development.

Madame Peace Hillary, the chairperson of WMOC

“The number of women journalists in Rwanda should be increased for their contribution to accelerating media information development. We have been helping women to identify their role and we are happy for what had been done so far” she added.

Dr Eric Ndushabandi, the director of the Institute of Research and dialogue for peace (IRDP), who was also present at the meeting, said that the media need to work with all levels to accelerate the sustainable development goals of the SDGs.

Dr Eric Ndushabandi, the director of IRDP

“The challenges we face prevent us from achieving our desired economic goals, mainly due to the low level of cooperation between the various sectors. I think there is a need for cooperation between the media and civil society organizations and the private sector. This partnership would help the community to know what is being done to them and help them to thrive,” Dr Ndushabandi said.

Mr. Peacemaker Mbungiramihigo, the media policy analyst at ministry of local government (MINALOC) says the Rwandan government is well aware of the importance of the media in the direction of sustainable development.

“The government is ready to work with the media and put in place a series of reforms to regulate the media and various institutions to provide the people with the information they need for development assistance,” he said.

Mr. Peacemaker Mbungiramihigo, MINALOC – media policy analyst

RJSD continues its efforts to development of the country. It is in 2019 that journalists from the Rwanda come together and establish an organization called RJSD to help Rwandans in general to achieve sustainable development, with a sustainable approach and the right to access information to everyone, especially information for development

Other activities planned by the RJSD include working with universities that have school of journalism and communications, as well as secondary and high schools.

It is in the interest of helping the students in these schools to increase the knowledge they need today and to help them get into a professional career in journalism and media in general.

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