Wednesday, July 07, 2010

MTN takes 2010 World Cup actions to Highway Africa

Global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, MTN Group, has taken the actions in the game to this year’s Highway Africa conference, which kicked off on Monday at the Western Cape city of Grahamstown.

Highway Africa is the largest annual gathering of African journalists and media practitioners on the continent on the development and dissemination of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) which holds yearly at Rhodes University, Grahamstown with the theme, “African Voices in the Global Media Space.”

MTN Group Executive for Corporate Affairs, Ms Nozipho January-Bardill, said at the commencement of a two-day hosting for participants’ viewing sessions of the semi finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the delegates which ends today, Wednesday, noting that the timing of this year’s Highway Africa coincided with the ongoing 2010 FIFA World Cup, a global football extravaganza which MTN is the first and only African global sponsor.

She urged participants to relax and enjoy the sessions alongside the Highway Africa conference, which offers both a celebration and an interrogation of African journalism and media on how these are opening up and expanding spaces for engagement.

“The exponential growth of social media and the internet is rapidly altering the media landscape and changing the way news gets disseminated and consumed. Through our partnership with Rhodes University, MTN is proud to be at the forefront of deliberations and discussions that will help evaluate the role the African media should play in influencing global perceptions about the continent,” she said.

The MTN spokeswoman, further said that Highway Africa offered an opportunity to appraise how the media on the continent could assert Africa’s place in the global arena, particularly on critical issues such as socio-economic development, the promotion of democracy and climate change.

Over 500 journalists attended Highway Africa this year.

ITRealms Online recalls that last year, FIFA Local Organising Committee chief executive Dr Danny Jordaan opened Highway Africa by addressing delegates about South Africa’s state of readiness at a session held at then newly-built Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Executive Director, Highway Africa, Mr. Chris Kabwato, pointed out that this year’s conference witnessed a high level debate on a theme and how is African media framing Africa’s role on the global stage in relation to China, Climate Change, emerging economic order, terror and security.

This, he said, was followed by a roundtable discussion on ICT Trends and Innovations in Africa: what is and what is not happening on the continent, just as MTN representative on the panel discussion was the EASSy Project Manager, Mr Trevor Martins.

Equally, during the workshop on “Mobile is the Future, the Future is here” led by Professor Harry Dugmore, Chair of MTN Mobile Journalism at Rhodes University, Head of Public Access & Mobile Money, MTN Uganda, Mr. Mr Richard Mwami participated.

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