Kagame Slams Western Media
Rwanda President Paul Kagame has Thursday afternoon blasted the western media for peddling lies about Africa to serve their own selfish interests.
“The international media with its own objectives has dominated the scene and tell our story, often distorting it,” said Kagame.
The President was speaking at the opening of the East Africa Media Summit in Kigali.
The function was attended by media practitioners, civil activists, researchers and officials from the East African community.
“In order to nurture a pan East African media, partners have responsibility to invest in it,” said Kagame, adding, “There are interesting and relevant stories in our region that do not get coverage they deserve.”
He emphasized: “Media should facilitate in telling our story and advance integration.”
Kagame recently accused western media of peddling lies which have fanned the flames of the chaos in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“Media should tell the true story of our region, including desire for peace and security because no one else will do it for us,” said Kagame.
He expressed confidence that the media has both the power and responsibility to get the region to embrace the East African integration with passion.
“There are layers in the media, where some are superior and others are inferior and this should be addressed,” said Kagame in reference to the local media which is being dominated by western media.
He said the international media sets agenda and at most times, based on distortions of realities on the ground.
Kagame also recognized social media as an important tool for citizens to hold “all of us including traditional media accountable.”
He noted social media provides East African citizens with a voice and challenges traditional media dominated by a few voices.
He acknowledged the era of fast evolving social media which provides opportunity for far reaching communication and feedback.
The President also rubbished reports that Kigali harasses journalists.
“In Rwanda, inspite of what outsiders may say, we regard media as an important partner in our development. Media will be an invaluable partner in advancing our agenda and ensuring the people are part of the process,” said Kagame.
He said the fact that the summit has been organised with participation of EABC testifies significance of private sector.
Earlier, Hon. Musa Sirma had noted that the media is part of the drivers of the EAC integration process and annual summit facilitates this project.
EAC Secretary General Amb. Richard Sezibera said the role of the media is indispensable to EAC shared agenda.
“In this fast moving world, there is a danger that pertinent issues like EAC integration might not be given due focus. This is an opportune moment for the debate on issues related to EAC integration and the role that should played by the media,” said Sezibera.
Hon. Monique Mularuliza commended President Kagame's commitment to the EAC integration agenda.
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Updated on 2013-06-04 10:39
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