5 July 2018

Rwanda, China Media Commit to Deepen Ties

Rwanda and China have a long history of cooperation and friendship, and they have good stories which are still untold or are told on a biased way.

Media managers from Rwanda and China have agreed to deepen relations in the interest of telling true and factual stories about both countries, to the benefit of the peoples of both countries.

Relations between Rwanda and China have been existent for over 40 years, and it has gained momentum over the past few years with cooperation pacts expanded to cover various areas.

During a dialogue between Rwandan media managers and their Chinese counterparts led by Guo Weimin the Vice Minister of China state Council of Information Office, the two parties agreed that there are many ways in which they could work together.

The dialogue which was held in Kigali was held ahead of the forthcoming visit by Chinese President, Xi Jinping who is expected in the country on July 22 for a state visit, a first one in recent history.

Claudine Uwanyirigira the Deputy Director General at Rwanda Broadcasting Agency said it's a good thing to develop joint projects between media practitioners of both countries.

The cooperation has been there in terms of capacity building and getting supports in terms of equipment, but it should be even better if it extends to another level, she said.

"I'm looking for long term relations between media of China and Rwanda, whose impact may even expand to the whole Africa," she suggested.

John Mbanda, the Director in Charge of Media at Rwanda Governance Board, said the two countries have a long history of cooperation and friendship and they have many good stories which are still untold or are told on a biased way.

"There have been many misconceptions on the other side and it can be corrected with telling the truth of what Rwanda is and what China is within our own contexts. I think the exchange in terms of capacity building and content exchange will be fruitful," he said.

Jiang Aimin the Director of China Radio International (Africa) said media houses of both countries have the responsibility to report the factual truth in order to keep away the biased reports mostly done by those with their own agenda to push.

"It's only developing countries that can understand other developing countries. We have to sign agreements to be able to exchange content freely," he said.

Huang Cheng the Director of CGTN Africa said Rwanda and China share the same view said that there was an opportunities to change this narrative.

"Our media partnerships should do away with some misconceptions told around us. We have to report stories, good or bad, but with fact and accuracy," he said.

On his part, the Chinese Vice Minister for Information, Guo Weimin pledged his support towards strengthening China-Rwanda media fraternity.

"We should deepen exchanges and cooperation between our media houses. I think we can build a mechanism to get it institutionalized," he said.

Reporters from Rwanda can go to China and Chinese come to Rwanda to exchange experience, knowledge and content as way to promote cooperation and tell the stories of Beautiful Rwanda and Beautiful China, he said.

He also urged local media to report on the forthcoming visit by the Chinese President.

Earlier in the day, Weimin had led a delegation to the head office of The New Times, during which he said that the forthcoming visit should help to promote a people-to-people engagement through the media of the two countries.

During the visit, he also outlined the different engagements he they would be undertaking, including donating scholastic materials to students, a Chinese film festival and a photo exhibition, among others.

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