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The theme of this year’s HA conference will be 2010, Development & Democracy and it will offer journalists a reflection on 2010 in the new media environment. In 2010, South Africa hosts the FIFA World Football Cup. As we head for the world’s biggest spectacle, taking place in Africa for the very first time, it is imperative that African journalism and media prepare on how the 2010 Story will told.

A. Pre-Conference Workshops

  1. Companies and Markets for Journalists (31 August – 4 September, Reg Rumney, Centre Economics Journalism in Africa). This is a closed workshop. Please do not apply.
  2. Using New Media in Journalism (31 August – 8 September, Professor Peter Verweij, University of Utrecht Supported by SA Department of Communications). This is a closed workshop. Please do not apply.
  3. OSIWA New Media Workshop for Journalism Educators (West Africa). This is a closed workshop. Please do not apply.
  4. Effective Media Management: Print & Broadcast, 6 – 8 September, in association with the Sol Plaatje Media Leadership Institute, Grocott’s Mail and Rhodes Music Radio. This is a closed workshop. Please do not apply.

B. Digital Citizen Indaba

Sunday 6 September: Please access the full programme at

C. Pre-Conference Association Meetings

These meetings are by invitation only and the organisers of these meetings are the once who control access. Please do not contact Highway Africa staff for access.

  • The Africa Editors Forum (TAEF) Meeting, 5 September
  • South African Editors Forum Meeting (SANEF), 6 September
  • Forum for African Investigative Reporters, 5 & 6 September (tbc)
  • Southern Africa Media (SAMSA), 9 & 10 September

D. Social Programme

  • Dinners
  • – Saturday 5 September, Telkom Dinner, Thomas Pringle Hall (strictly by invitation only)
    – Saturday 5 September, Digital Citizen Indaba Opening Reception, Nelson Mandela Dining Hall, supported by HIVOS and American International Health Alliance
    – Sunday 6 September, MTN Opening Reception, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
    – Monday 7 September, Absa Africa Night Dinner, 1820 Settlers Monument
    – Tuesday 8 September, Highway Africa New Media Awards in association with OSIWA, 1820 Settlers Monument

  • Lunches
  • – Saturday 5 September (sponsored by Rhodes University)
    – Sunday 6 September (sponsored by DoC)
    – Monday 7 September (sponsored by Telkom)
    – Tuesday 8 September (sponsored by 2010 Local Organising Committee)

  • Breakfast
  • – Absa Networking Breakfast, Tuesday, 8 September

E. Highway Africa New Media Awards

Tuesday 8 September, 1820 Settlers Monument

F. Exhibitions

  • MTN
  • Telkom
  • DoC
  • MultiChoice
  • MDDA
  • G. Book Launches

    • Adam Clayton Powell, Reinventing Local News: Connecting with Communities Using New Technologies
    • Fackson Banda et al, The Digital Public Sphere
    • Manoah Esipisu et al, Eyes of Democracy: The Media and Elections
    • Guy Berger et al, Beyond broadcasting: the future of state-owned broadcasters

    Highway Africa Conference Structure

    • Sunday, 6 September
    • > Multi-Choice Golf Day (for sponsors and conference partners only)

      > 17h00: MTN Opening Reception at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

    • Monday, 7 September
    • > 08h30: Welcome Remarks by DoC; Telkom; MTN and Absa.

      > 09h00: Opening Address by Dr. Saleem Badat, Vice Chancellor, Rhodes University

      > 09h30 – 10h30: 2010 FIFA World Cup – State of Readiness. A panel discussion involving key 2010 stakeholders and journalists. Anchor: Mathatha Tsedu

      > 11h00 – 12h00: Setting the Scene: the State of African Media. An examination of the state of African media in terms of vision and mission, operating context, ownership, business models, education & training, gender and technology.
      – Anchor: Robert Kabushenga, Editor-in-Chief, New Vision
      – Jeanette Minnie, Executive Member, African Forum for Media Development
      – Rosemary Okello-Orlale, Executive Director
      – Amadou Ba, Executive Director, Africa Media Initiative
      – Lumko Mtimde, Chief Executive Officer, Media Development & Diversity Agency

      > 12h00 – 13h00: Reporting Development Forum – Media and Africa’s Development Agenda.

      – Anchor: Tumi Makgabo
      – Professor Alfred Opubor, Executive Director, WANAD
      – Paul Fray, Executive Director, Inter Press Services
      – Pauline Bend, Panos Institute of West Africa
      – Cheriff Sy, Deputy Chair, The African Editors Forum

      > 14h30: Workshops, Seminars & Debates
      The organisation of our training workshops is made possible by the support of the SA Department of Communications

      – Media Development Forum: The Global and African response to the Pan African Media Observatory Plan (supported by GFMD, AFMD and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)
      – The Challenges of Reporting 2010 (a workshop supported by MTN and Agence France Press Foundation)
      – Installing and using the NIKA content management system for Community Media and Citizen Reporting, Professor Harry Dugmore, MTN Chair in Mobile Journalism. Please note that information and software will be available online and also in the Conference Exhibition Foyer.
      – Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace: Secure Communications, Bobby Soriano (supported by Free Voice)
      – Academic Workshop on 2010 hosted Rhodes University & Stockholm University, Professor Jane Duncan. (The purpose of the meeting is to provide a space for researchers interested in sport and media issues to plan a research agenda for 2010)
      – Mobile Technology and Revenue Generation (supported by MTN)
      – Using Twitter as a Source for Journalists, Professor Peter Verweij
      – Computer Aided Journalism, Izak Minnaar
      – Project Ujima and Investigative Journalism in Africa, Great Lakes Media Institute
      – ICT for Journalists (sponsored by Microsoft)
      – Investigative Journalism Workshop (hosted by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung)
      – Using Social Media in Everyday Life, Vincent Maher and Nic Haralambolous
      – COMED Workshop on Education for Development, Lawalley Cole
      – UNESCO New Media Workshop (Closed Workshop for Educators from Potential Schools of Excellence and Reference. Please do not apply).

      > 16h30: Book Launch: Stuart Pennington, Africa: the Good News

      > 17h00 Book Launch: Adam Clayton Powell, Reinventing Local News: Connecting with Communities Using New Technologies

      > 17h30 Book Launch: Fackson Banda, The Digital Public Sphere

    • Tuesday, 8 September
    • > 08h30 – 09h30: Reporting Community: Reinventing Local News

      – Anchor: Jayshree Pather, Project Director, Media Development and Diversity Agency
      – Adam Clayton-Powell, Vice-Provost for Globalisation, University of Southern California
      – Nomawethu Sbukwana, Eastern Cape Communication Forum (ECCF)
      – Deidre Uren, Regional Editor-in-Chief, SABC
      – Eduardo Avila, Director, Bolivian Voices

      > 09h30 – 09h30: Reporting Democracy: Media and Elections in Africa (also launch of the book Eyes of Democracy, Media and Elections in Africa)
      – Anchor: Professor Jane Duncan
      – Izak Minnaar, Head: News Research, SABC
      – Kwami Ahiabenu, Director, Penplusbytes
      – Kubi Rama, Deputy Director, Gender Links
      – Manoah Esipisu, Deputy Director, Communications & Public Affairs Division, Commonwealth
      – William Bird, Executive Director, Media Monitoring Africa

      > 11h30 – 12h45: Parallel Workshops/Seminars/Debates

      – Glass Ceilings: Women and Men in Southern Africa Media – debate and book launch
      – Mobile Television in Africa – a showcase by MTN
      – Training workshop on effective HIV/AIDS reporting – topics focusing on journalists, NGO representatives, and other stakeholders. Coordinated by MISA, ZAMCOM, and University of Kentucky
      – Using ICT in Investigative Journalism with Peter Griffiths and Stephen Miller
      – Investigative Journalism Workshop – Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
      – Broadband Africa – Access, Applications & Content with Ben Akoh, Anne-Rachel Innes, Eric Osiakwan and Ashraf Patel

      > 14h30: Workshops, Seminars & Debates

      – Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace: Secure Communications, Bobby Soriano (supported by Free Voice)
      – Using Twitter as a Source for Journalists, Professor Peter Verweij
      – Computer Aided Journalism, Izak Minaar
      – Project Ujima and Investigative Journalism in Africa (Great Lakes Media Institute)
      – ICT for Journalists (sponsored by Microsoft)
      – Digital Story-telling in Development Journalism (sponsored by Gates Foundation)
      – Reporting 2010 (a workshop supported by MTN and Agence France Press Foundation)
      – Using Social Media in Everyday Life, Vincent Maher & Nic Haralambolous
      – COMED Workshop on Education for Development, Lawalley Cole
      – UNESCO New Media Workshop (Closed Workshop for Educators from Potential Schools of Excellence and Reference. Please do not apply).

      > 16h45: Book Launch: Beyond broadcasting: the future of state-owned broadcasters in Southern Africa. Edited by Prof. Guy Berger, contributions by Prof. Fackson Banda, Rashweat Mukundu, Zenaida Machado and Prof. Jane Duncan. Sponsored by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

      > 17h00: Launch of the Citizen Journalism Newsroom at the Grocott’s Mail, High Street

    Please keep checking back since we will be updating the programme here with more details

    Join us on online at:


    Highway Africa Chair of Media and the Information Society, Jane Duncan has just released some

    Highway Africa Chair for Media & Information Society: Jane Duncan

    Highway Africa Chair for Media & Information Society: Jane Duncan

    comments on the proposal for a Pan-African Media Observatory set forth by the African Union Commission and the European Commission. Below are the comments.


    Highway Africa (HA) is a partnership between Rhodes University (School of Journalism and Media Studies) and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), with the support of several partners, development agencies and sponsors, promoting the use of appropriate technology by journalists. 2009 sees the 13th conference being hosted in Grahamstown with a record attendance of 735 persons in 2008 and offers journalists reflection on 2010 in the New Media environment. The Highway Africa annual Awards expand to over 5 categories in their ninth year, continuing to recognise excellence in ICT journalism in Africa. HA has established a Chair in Media and the Information Society, which is responsible for the encouragement of research, teaching on information society issues, management of the Highway Africa conference and advocacy work, particularly on media freedom issues.

    1. Comments on proposals

    HA does not intend to re-hash points that have already been made in other submissions; suffice to say that HA associates itself with the basic principles to guide media development in the African Forum for Media Development (AFMD) and Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) submission. We also associate ourselves with their comments on the project. Our position is informed by our view of what preconditions are required for an African information society, and these intrinsically include an environment that is conducive to media freedom and growth. Our view further focuses on the interconnection between the information and communication spheres of society, and therefore on telecoms/internet and media. Our specific comments are as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

    Dear Delegate,

    The conference is now in full swing.




     Highway Africa, a programme of the School of Journalism at Rhodes University, will be hosting the 13th edition of the Highway Africa Conference from 6-8 September in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape South Africa.

     Highway Africa has a very limited number of scholarships for practising African journalists with a bias to ICT reporting who are keen on improving and upgrading their digital media savvy. PLEASE NOTE THE EMPHASIS ON PRACTISING JOURNALISTS. WE DO NOT HAVE SPONSORSHIP FOR ANY OTHER INTERESTED PARTICIPANTS OUTSIDE THIS CATEGORY.

    Interested PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS should submit the following information:

    • a curriculum vitae with 2 contactable referees
    • a 300 word statement on why they are interested in attending the Highway Africa and what will be done with the skills and information acquired
    • a letter of support from your Editor or Publisher


    Submit Deadline for all: 15 July 2009.



    Shortlisted candidates will be required to complete registration and indemnity forms supplied by Highway Africa.

    The decision of Highway Africa on the selection of candidates is FINAL.

    Applications should be submitted to the following email contacts marked for

    Mr. Luthando Kiti  on,  and copied 

    Please do not phone to inquire about your application. We will respond to e-mail correspondence ONLY.


    Should you not hear from us by 25 July please note that your application will not have been successful. We are unable to respond to anyone other than successful applicants given the volume of scholarship applications.

    The Highway Africa Conference planning has now begun now in earnest. We are all now focused on getting all our systems in place.

    Our website has been giving us problems. We will issue a comprehensive update on preparation this week ending 10 July 2009.

    For now please note this key information:

    – Registration: Registration will open from 20 July to 20 August 2009. A registration form is available from Sibusiso Mtshali ( and Luthando Kiti (

    – Registration Fees: Each delegate should pay their registration fee in advance and send through proof of payment. The fee is USD500 or 4,000 South African Rands. In the past we have not insisted on pre-payment but this year NO delegate will be able to attend the conference activities without having paid their registration fees in advance.

    – The conference starts on Sunday 6 September with the Digital Citizen Indaba (DCI). This is Africa’s leading blogging event that focuses on how civil society and journalists can use new media tools to participate meaningfully in the democratisation of their societies. Contact Professor Jane Duncan ( should you wish to speak at this event. She is conceptualising the programme now so hurry.

    – On 7 and 8 September we will do the usual – plenary sessions, keynote addresses, debates, training workshops, book launches and, as you know, we can throw a party. So yes the social networking will continue to be a part of the conference.

    – Our theme is Reporting Africa: 2010, Development & Democracy. Send your ideas for high-level speakers and subjects to Chris Kabwato (

    – Scholarships: as usual we have limited scholarships for PRACTISING JOURNALISTS (please do not bother to apply unless you are strictly a journalist). The closing date for applications is 15 July 2009.