Anjan Sundaram’s new book tells the story of young journalists in Rwanda, under increasing pressure to toe the government line. Coming out of his time running a journalist’s training programme in Kigali, the book paints a picture of reporters co-opted and intimidated by President Paul Kagame’s regime, some facing the risk of arrest and violence. In a country often held up as a beacon of economic development and progress in the Great Lakes region, and supported by billions of dollars of foreign aid each year, Sundaram experienced a climate of fear and repression for those attempting to engage in independent journalism.
Join the author for a discussion on the book and questions of accountability, free speech and the mechanisms used by government to control the national narrative. Copies of the book will be on sale.
Anjan Sundaram is an award-winning journalist, who has reported from central Africa for the New York Times and the Associated Press. His previous book Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo was a Royal African Society Book of the Year in 2014. His writing has also appeared in Granta, The Guardian, Observer, Foreign Policy, Politico, Telegraph and The Washington Post. His war correspondence from the Central African Republic won a Frontline Club Award in 2015, and his reporting on Pygmy tribes in Congo’s rainforests won a Reuters prize in 2006. His work has also been shortlisted for the Prix Bayeux and the Kurt Schork award.
Rene Claudel Mugenzi is a Rwandan/British community organiser, social development practitioner and politician. As a human rights activist he is involved in several pro-democracy campaigns related to Rwanda, such as ‘Amahoro Iwacu’ and ‘Democracy in Rwanda Now’. Rene is the founder and former CEO of the London Centre for Social Impact, a leading social innovation think-tank and development organisation. In the 2015 UK general election, he stood as a candidate for Poplar and Limehouse, representing the Red Flag Anti-Corruption political party. Rene currently works as a consultant and teacher in the fields of social innovation, entrepreneurship and community project development, for which he has been awarded the Lifetime Millennium Award and the Community Hero Award in Tower Hamlets.
Frances Harrison is a British journalist who worked with the BBC. She was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, as well as the School of Oriental & African Studies, and Imperial College in London. For many years she worked as a foreign correspondent for the BBC posted in South Asia, South East Asia and Iran. From 2000-4 she was the resident BBC Correspondent in Sri Lanka. She has worked at Amnesty International as Head of News. She currently runs a research project investigating war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka.
Read ‘Exposing Rwanda’s war on journalism’ a review published on African Arguments
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