Content in billboards will from this week have to be approved by Kigali City authorities before advertizing companies put them up in public spaces for public consumption. Authorities in the city of Kigali will have to look into the content of what is going to be advertised and see if the content fulfill Kigali city ethical standards in 24 hours.
The city of Kigali had this week a meeting with advertizing agencies to communicate them about the new policy and get more ideas from them because this is something new in Rwanda. Discussions are ongoing with the public sector and Rwanda Development Board. Kigali city authorities also want all advertizing companies to be in one association so that they can have rules and regulations that they follow.
Bruno Rangira told me that the city of Kigali is reforming outdoor advertizing something that was not regulated before. “Billboards have caused confusion in such a way that you find all kinds of advertizing populated in one area, the public doesn’t know what to look at, they fall down then at the end of the day we receive many complaints when they damage people`s properties”, remarked Bruno Rangira the Public Relations and Communication Expert at the City of Kigali.
Alliance Media, a continental outdoor advertising agency with regional offices in the country, is worried that the new policy could harm their business.
Abraham Mingech, the Alliance Media’s regional manager for Rwanda and Burundi, said just after the meeting with Kigali city authorities that the policy sounds good but that Alliance Media run same adverts across the continent and does not understand how all other countries can have similar adverts and Rwanda has its own advert.
The city of Kigali is reforming different aspects regarding outdoor advertizing in Kigali such as their structure, taking them out of roundabout. According to the new policy billboards have to be at least 50 m from roundabout, be separated in such a way that there is enough distance between each one. “Billboards will also have to be ensured as they damage people`s properties when they fall down”, said Bruno Rangira.