Congo-Kinshasa: RSF Has Installed Satellite Internet Connections for Journalists in Nine Locations in DRC

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press release

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has equipped nine media outlets and journalists’ associations in the Democratic Republic of Congo with satellite Internet connections since December. The aim is to provide the journalists with more reliable connections and make it easier for them to work.

These connections, which continue to function even when the Internet has been completely cut by local operators, have been installed at media outlets and associations in Kinshasa, the DRC’s capital, and Goma, the capital of the eastern province of Nord-Kivu.

RSF began installing the satellite connections in December to make it easier for reporters to cover the campaign for the presidential election held on 20 December . The beneficiaries include the Actualité.cd news website and the Congolese Press Agency (ACP) .

“Members who come to work at our headquarters do so without stress or fear of being caught short by an Internet cut,” said Marthe Bosuandole, the deputy coordinator of the Kinshasa-based Association of International Press Correspondents (ACPI).

“In order to help journalists and associations that play an important role in promoting press freedom, we are responding to one of their needs by equipping them with a satellite Internet connection. RSF will continue its mission of assisting journalists in the DRC so that they can work freely and in the best possible conditions.”

Sadibou Marong Director of RSF’s Sub-Saharan Africa bureau

“With this equipment, our members can now work faster when fact checking and researching online.” said Rosalie Zawadi , the president of the Goma branch of the National Congolese Press Union (UNPC). Since 30 January, journalists using the Press Centre in Goma have found it much easier to take part in online training.

Internet connection costs are another major problem for journalists in the DRC. The media outlets and associations that have been given a satellite Internet connection have also been given a free subscription to the satellite Internet service for six months. Israël Mutala , the president of the DRC Online Media Association (MILRDC) was among those who expressed appreciation for this additional contribution.

Satellite Internet connections will also soon be installed in two more locations, the Yira Mirembe cultural centre in Butembo, in Nord-Kivu, and the headquarters of the network of community radio stations in the southeastern Katanga region.

RSF also provides journalists in the DRC with training in physical safety. Several sessions on journalists’ safety and election coverage were organised for journalists in the cities of Kinshasa, Mbandaka, Goma and Lubumbashi in the latter part of 2023.

The DRC is ranked 124th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2023 World Press Freedom Index .

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