Rwanda: Government Looks To Regulate Social Media


The Government of Rwanda has stated its intention to regulate social media content in order to address the spread of misinformation.

Speaking on the subject in Parliament, Minister for ICT and Innovation Paula Ingabire stated, "We have started a programme to engage with all people owning social media platforms so that we devise an approach to regulate content because when it's not lies, it is misinformation, defamation." 

“There has to be free sharing of information, but at the same time it has to be information that is building the people, that is building a country, but not just really circulating misinformation, defamation," she added.

However, concerns regarding the motives behind regulation of the space have been growing across the region in recent months.

The introduction of a tax on the use of social media in Uganda last year, legislation in Tanzania that requires bloggers to pay hefty registration fees, and a levy on internet calls raised by the Zambian government have all sparked fears that governments are looking to restrict the basic freedoms of citizens.

In Benin attempts by the government to introduce a tax on social media platforms was overturned following protest from local and international activists.