Rwanda, March 2019 – Five Rwandan media professionals identified as leaders in a position to strengthen the institutions that underpin independent media have been selected by the EU Delegation to Rwanda to participate in the Media4Democracy Fellowship. Media4Democracy is working with the EU Delegation to Rwanda to implement what will be the second Fellowship Programme – Strengthening Media Institutions in Support of Media Pluralism – following a successful pilot project with a group of Fellows from Tanzania.
The Fellows will spend one month in Denmark from mid-March to mid-April 2019 on an intensive programme hosted at the Danish Union of Journalists. They will learn how institutions in Denmark work to support media, while gaining practical skills in leadership, organisational management, advocacy, building membership bases, and engaging government in dialogue. They will also meet with a range of organisations and professionals during the programme.
The EU Delegation hosted the group of Fellows on 8 March to a pre-departure gathering, so that each Fellow could explain the details of their personal project that will be the anchor to their learning and effort on return to Kigali; and so that the EU Delegation staff could meet the Fellows and deepen direct engagement.
In January, a Media4Democracy expert team had conducted a rapid assessment of institutional leaders in Rwanda, and supported the EU Delegation in selecting the following Fellows:
The selected Fellows all work in senior roles across a range of media institutions that are building a stronger, more independent, sustainable and diverse media sector, able to play a vital role in building democracy, sustainable development and government transparency and accountability.
According to senior expert, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, who led the Media4Democracy mission to Rwanda in January, the programme can make a real difference:
‘The selected young leaders across the media sector have an opportunity now to support the improved capacity of media and civil society by strengthening their own organisations to play a constructive, collaborative and organised role in the process.’