Towards a Journalism Education of Excellence in Rwanda

Students of journalism and practicing journalists in Rwanda are looking forward to a four-year Capacity Building Program designed by the School Journalism and Communication in partnership with Fojo Media Institute and funded by Sweden.
The revelation was made during a networking conference in Kigali where different stakeholders discussed the four-year programme, which is aimed at capacity building for the School but also to improving relations with the Rwandan media. 68 media managers, journalists, academics and students attended the conference.
Philip Cotton, Vice Chancellor of University of Rwanda, underlined in his welcoming address that professional media development in the country is key for the general development of the nation. Using a metaphor, he emphasised the need to have excellent reporters who serve in the interest of the public, just like medical doctors do.

UNESCO’s (LÄNK TILL ARTIKEL) Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Guy Berger, noted that there is need to bridge the gap between what is offered in the training institutions and what is required in the media industry – and that students need to experience great things using new technology. Thus, journalists need to stay fit like an athlete stays fit to compete.

The program will start by revising the SJC curriculum and introduce a Master’s Degree to cater for an increasing demand in journalism and media studies. The program will host visiting lecturers from regional and international universities and encourage volunteer programs by inviting media experts to share their experiences with students and practicing journalists in Rwanda. Hands on internship will also be enhanced for students to be equipped with practical experiences. Furthermore, the program will strengthen exchange programs and research among SJC staff and support the publishing process. Still, it will support training opportunities for journalists and media managers through short and specialised courses.

At the same forum, Caesar Handa, Lead Consultant for Transparency International Rwanda presented a baseline study (LINK TO BASELINE) carried out for the program, together with eight analyses. He noted, among other things, that Rwandan journalists and media managers do not have enough professional training. Only 35.5% of media managers in Rwanda did journalism in their studies, the study findings indicated.

In the exchange of views, it was ruled that journalism schools must work closer with the media industry because students are motivated by input from experienced people. Students need to get used to newsrooms and work alongside practicing journalists and there is need for students to get mentorship from practicing media experts.


Joseph Njuguna, Acting Dean of SJC presenting at the conference


From front, Anki Wood Project Manager, Fojo Media Institute, Dr. Christophe Kayumba, Lecturer SJC and Dr. Margaret JJuuko Senior lecturer, SJC


Participants at the conference brainistoming on how the program can work best


Photo (R-L) Prof. Philip Cotton, Vice Chancellor, University of Rwanda, Prof. Guy Berger, Director, UNESCO Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Maria Håkansson, Chargé d´Affaires at the Swedish Embassy

Edward K. Mwesigye

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