She said she felt that the current situation in Nigeria meant the country had things to learn from Rwanda’s genocide experiences and healing process: “Nigeria is presently witnessing a new phase of insecurity and violence occasioned by the Boko Haram sect in the north, militancy in the south, as well as kidnapping and pockets of ethnic clashes in various areas of the country.”
Her project proposal was underscored by the belief that effective journalism can help discourage the destruction of life and properties caused by ethno-religious tension through sensitisation, education and development reporting. Hauwa said that the travel bursary “has afforded me the opportunity to travel outside Nigeria for the first time, thus opening my eyes to issues of global interest and appreciating life in my country and other countries.”
Hauwa spent ten days in the country, during the period when Rwanda commemorates the genocide, which happened from April to June 1994. She visited the Rwanda Broadcasting Corporation on arrival, which helped her with contacts for interviews. She talked to Rwandans from many walks of life: genocide survivors, perpetrators, health directors, heads of banks, government officials, church ministers and journalists. Hauwa observed that Rwanda had come a long way, and that everybody “clamoured for peace”.
As a result of her visit, Hauwa has kickstarted a good working relationship between the Rwandan broadcaster and her employer, the Voice of Nigeria. They now share stories for broadcast on their radio stations which are of mutual benefit to both countries.
An article from her project, comparing business practices and approaches in the two countries, has been published in a national Nigerian newspaper.