Burundi set to pass Law on access to information

Burundi is expected to put in place a law on access to information in efforts to promote authentic and ethical communications and journalism in the country according to the Burundi’s ministry of Information and Communication.

While addressing the media representatives on Friday April, 15th 2022 in Bujumbura, Burundi’s assistant minister of Information and communication Thierry Kitamoya said that the law will be in place by the end of this financial year, “the lack of professionalism that has arisen with the advent to the internet, difficulties in accessing sources of information has been noticed,” said Thierry Kitamoya the assistant minister of Information and Communication.

This comes as Burundi is trying to revamp the fourth estate which had been for long been criticized by the authority for lack of professionalism and the so called biased reporting.

Reporters without Borders (RSF) released a report on world press freedom index that saw Burundi placed to 147th position in 2021 out of 180 countries worldwide.

In 2020 Burundi was ranked at 160th position out of 180 country which implies that the country stepped up 13 positions in as far as media freedom is concerned.

RSF report indicated that the election of a new president in May 2020 has raised journalists’ hopes after years of persecution, and that the release in December 2020 of four reporters with Iwacu media group who had been jailed arbitrarily for more than a year and the president’s request to the media regulator to “settle the differences” with sanctioned media outlets were seen as encouraging signs.

Burundi’s president Evariste Ndayishimiye last year called on the National Communication Council (CNC) a regulatory body to dialogue with banned media houses for a possible reopening.

BBC, and Voice of America are the two international media houses which were still under sanctions. 

Sanctions were lifted against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) last month after almost three years since it was banned to operate in the country. 

The Burundi Communication Council (CNC) announced that the BBC has been authorized to reopen its offices in the country and resume the services.

However, the Voice of America is yet to be reopened since it was banned to air in the country for more than three years now.


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