Capacity and professional knowledge is a challenge among journalists and media houses in Rwanda. Fojo addresses the need for professional journalism in Rwanda by strengthening education for the Rwandan journalists of tomorrow. The project aims to build capacity and strengthen education and training at the School of Journalism and Communication (SJC), at the University of Rwanda (UR).
A significant achievement by SJC, the UR and the project has been to review and update the curriculum for entry level students. An important aspect of this is to make journalism education and training at SJC more adapted to the needs of the professional demands of the media industry.
The project also strives to strengthen professional working relations and exchanges between the Rwandan media industry and SJC. Another important outcome for the programme is to assist in strengthening the academic and professional advancement of the staff at the SJC.
Every semester Fojo sends 5-10 experienced Swedish journalists as volunteers to SJC. The volunteers provide practical training and personal feedback to students and lecturers, while at the same time they help students understand media’s social, economic and political role in a democracy and make sure they are able to conduct professional journalism in an evolving media landscape.
A new learning tool was introduced in 2017, following an initiative from the Rwandan daily newspaper The New Times, when the student newspaper The Kaminuza Star was established. The first issue was published and printed (2000 copies )in April 2017.
Other important pedagogical tools are computer labs, radio and TV studios. The project is contributing to the refurbishment and improvement of the infrastructure, technical facilities and administration at SJC. The four-year programme of capacity building started in 2015 and is financed by the the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).