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This will be MTN’s 12th year to support the Highway Africa Conference, which always addresses challenges facing African journalists and assess the impact of technological changes on the media.
The Conference is a project of Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa), in partnership with Telkom, Absa Barclays and MTN.
In a statement released by MTN Uganda on Friday indicates that three journalists; Charles Kodili -Gazzaman, Business Editor at Red Pepper, Arthur Oyako On-line Editor- New Vision and Ismail Ladu a business reporter with Daily Monitor took part in the three day conference.
“It was hosted by Rhodes University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies in partnership with the Department of Communications (South Africa), Corporate South Africa, development agencies and media associations,” reveals the statement.
At an meeting of welcoming the journalists back on Thursday, MTN Uganda’s General Manager Corporate Services, Anthony Katamba expressed the company’s continued commitment to support the media fraternity both locally and on the continent as a whole.
“We are proud of the immense contribution of MTN Uganda in enabling Ugandan journalists to be part of critical reflection and engagement on what it means to be a media practitioner and scholar in the African continent,” he said.
He noted that the conference is something the company always sponsors journalists from the business section of Uganda’s key partner newspapers on recommendation of their CEOs and Editors in Chief.
“This is something MTN Uganda will continue doing as a commitment to our support for impactful journalism in the country and Africa at large,” Katamba said.
The journalists also expressed their gratitude towards the MTN for giving them a chance to participate in the conference.
Charles Kodili -Gazzaman, Business Editor at Red Pepper said, “It is definitely value for money for MTN giving us that opportunity to critically dissect the profession of journalism at the just concluded Highway Africa conference.”
Arthur Oyako, On-line Editor- New Vision said, “There is much to carry back home for somebody who draws life both from IT and journalism. The blend of policies and case studies was great. The evenings were just as good. I wish I could do this again next year.”
Ismail Ladu, Business Reporter at the Monitor Publications said, “I am thankful that I was able to network and share experiences with the great speakers and fellow journalists from across the African continent.”
He added that they were able to exchange ideas on how we can practice our trade-journalism. That was definitely the icing on the cake.
Among the key note speakers at the Conference was, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Government of the Republic of South Africa, Mrs Edna Molewa.
She noted that the media has an immense role to play in the continent’s development agenda.
“This conference has provided a forum for discussion on sustainable development and tit bits on how the media can educate African people on what little things they could do in their own environments that could make a difference,” she said.
This year’s Highway Africa Conference theme was ‘Speaking truth to power? Media, Politics and Society’ and participants were taken through a multi-pronged programme.