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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

ABSA boss tasks media on African development

… As Reserve Bank supports Pearson school with R5m

Remmy Nweke in Grahamstown, South Africa

MANAGING Director, Africa Bank South Africa (ABSA), Mr. Dana Botha, has enjoined African media practitioners to take the continent’s journalism to the next level, saying that they should ensure African journalism takes its rightful place in the world, even as ABSA consolidates partnership with Highway Africa.

He also said this would be achieved by endearing their profession to the development of the continent.

This is coming as the Pearson Economic Journalism School in Rhodes University, has received about five million Rands (R5m) from the South African Reserve Bank.

In a speech laden with African renaissance spirit, Botha said, that the continental journalism has shown immense contribution to the development of Africa.

Hence, ABSA decided to consolidate its partnership with HA by the recent formal signing of sponsorship with organisers of the Highway Africa.

“This is my first time of attending Highway Africa and am already looking forward to coming back next year,” he declared.

Stressing that ABSA is excited with the development HA has made in the past 10 years.

“We’re happy for the African success story. Without the media it should not have been possible and we look forward to being part of this success story to enable Africans to speak with one voice,” he asserted.

According to him, ABSA already has offices in over14 countries on the continent with representative office in Nigeria, emphasising that his firm’s dream is to provide financial solutions to Africans, thereby becoming a leading bank in the region.

Botha, who proposed a toast for 10 years of Highway Africa, also commended the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for remaining focused by partnership with Rhodes University in reshaping the continental journalism and encouraging the telling of successful African stories.

“We all have a duty to tell the African stories. ABSA and its group are proud to be the financial partner of Highway Africa and supports NEPAD objectives that shore up governments for socio-economic development.

In a related development, the South African Reserve Bank has donated R5m in support of economic journalism studies in Rhodes University.

As said by Pearson chair, Economic Journalism School, Rhodes University, Mr. Robert Brandt, disclosed this while speaking last night at ABSA’s dinner for HA delegates.

He said that the donation would go a long way in improving economic journalism on the continent in the next five years.

Brandt, therefore, invited interested participants to approach his office on how they could benefit from the endowment, saying that before the end of this week, every information required would be uploaded on the school’s website.

Welcoming guest earlier, Director, Highway Africa, Chris Kabwato, noted that apart from African Union (AU), Highway Africa conference comes second in assemblage of Africans in diaspora on African soil.

He disclosed that participants were drawn from about 42 African countries, and congratulated HA team and sponsors over the years for their supports and believing in the dream of HA.

Equally in his remarks, Head, Journalism School at Rhodes University, Prof. Guy Berger, expressed appreciation for all the participants for their interest in African issues and media precisely.

Berger further commended ABSA among other sponsors of HA-06, singling out Botha, whom he said, delivered an inspiring speech likened to a visionary leadership that is evident in ABSA.

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