A program that was to take Rwandan journalism students to Uganda for internships is now off as a result of the ongoing standoff between the governments of the two countries.
In January, the University of Rwanda signed a five year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Uganda’s Makerere University under which the latter would facilitate internships for Rwandan journalism students in Ugandan media houses.
Makerere’s Department of Journalism and Communication was to facilitate those of UR’s School of Journalism and Communication (SJC).
The first lot of 20 students were scheduled to go to Uganda in May and June.
Officials recently told local media that the program would enable graduating students to broaden their skills though working in well equipped newsrooms and alongside experienced journalists.
The program may be no more if the Rwanda government “advisory” against travel to Uganda remains in place, according to Fojo Project, a Swedish program that was to provide the financial backing for the internships.
“At this point Fojo and SJC have postponed this activity due to the sensitive situation between Rwanda and Uganda. This has been communicated to the University of Rwanda and the agreed with the decision,” said Anki Wood, the Fojo Project Manager for Rwanda and Kenya.
Fojo Project is a program of Fojo Media Institute, Sweden’s leading media development centre for professional journalists.
Rwandans are not allowed to cross the border into Uganda, a situation that the government in Kigali says will stay as long as Kampala does not deal with the “three outstanding issues” that have been widely reported in the media.
Ms Wood from Fojo however added that, “There is hope that it will be possible to resume the cooperation in a near future.”
Fojo Media Institute started working with UR’s School of Journalism and Communication (SJC) in 2014 in a partnership to supporting media development in the country.