The Media High Council (MHC) formerly known as the High Council of the Press (HCP) was first established by the Press law n° 18/2002 of 11/05/2002 (article 73) as an autonomous body as far as press is concerned.
The Presidential Decree n° 99/01 of 12/11/2002 which followed also determined its structure, organization and functioning.
The Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda which was promulgated in June 2003, (article 34) also provided for this institution but also added that its structure and functioning shall be determined by a law.
It is in that context that the above decree was amended and a new law promulgated in 2009 giving the HCP a new name and wider mandate of a broadcasting and print media regulator with a mission of “Promoting freedom, responsibility and professionalism of the media.”
This law was further reviewed and replaced by law N º03/2013 of 08/02/2013 determining the new Responsibilities, Organization, and functioning of the Media High Council published in the National Official Gazette on 11th March, 2013; the former Rwanda’s media regulatory body (MHC) was attributed a new mandate: “responsible for media capacity building”.
According to the new MHC law, the Media High Council shall then be required to initiate and implement policies and strategies that will enable Rwanda’s media sector to get adapted to the world current media trends, and enhance the media’s role in national development.
Main responsibilities of MHC:
1° to advocate for media capacity building;
2° to build partnership with other institutions in a bid to mobilize resources for media capacity building;
3° to conduct regular research enabling to build media capacities;
4° to participate in initiating and implementing policies and strategies to develop the media sector;
5° to build innovative capacities and to produce media content that disseminates and promotes the Rwandan values, culture and products;
6° to liaise collaborate and cooperate with other national, regional, and international institutions with similar or related responsibilities;
7° to assist in setting up an enabling environment that facilitates investments in the media sector;