23 June 2007

Rwanda: 10 Percent Rwandans Read Newspapers - Study

Kigali — Total newspaper readership of newspapers in Rwanda is estimated to be 10% denoting just under a million individuals of the total population, a study by the Rwanda National Institute of Statistic (RNIS) has revealed.

The findings from a second study on the general welfare of Rwandans show that about 900 000 Rwandans can buy and therefore read a newspaper.

As of April 2007, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Population Division, the population of Rwanda is estimated to be 9 421 100. This is a significant rise from the 2002 census of 8.4 million.

Interestingly, the study reveals that from the 10%, just 2% of these are men compared to 5%. This essentially means more females are reading newspapers in Rwanda. The however has more females with about 54% of total population.

There about 20 publications in the country but only about 10 claim to have nationwide coverage - even then just struggling. Most of the newspapers are written in the local language - Kinyarwanda.

There are about five English newspapers competing vigorously for the small group that use English as second language. They also include a single daily in Rwanda.

However, there are only 2 French newspapers - both with irregularly appearance including a government and private publication.

The findings also indicate that 46% of homes have access to a radio compared to just 2% believed to own television set. Meanwhile 1% has a refrigerator and just 5% in possession of a mobile phone.

Since 2003, the telecommunications sector has been operated by a duopoly: MTN and Rwandatel. MTN has just over 300,000 subscribers, 2% of which are post-paid. It is targeting 1.5 million in five years time.

Rwandatel, (previously Terracom), dominated the landline service with more than 20,000 fixed lines along with its struggling mobile phone service. However, a public wireless system exists - that most phone users depend on.

As regards access to water, the study shows that 18% of Rwandan homes are in easy distance to a surface water source. Meanwhile 25% of the population depends on public water sources.

The findings also have it that 29% of housewives do have some form of education. However, 65% of these have at least primary school level.

Since 2005 when the Statistics institute was put up, it has released numerous studies on the welfare status in Rwanda.

Copyright © 2007 Rwanda News Agency/Agence Rwandaise d'Information. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.