Seventeen years ago Telkom sponsored the very first HighwayAfrica Conference. That we have stayed on to this day is testament to the spirit at the heart of my telecommunications group – we value our country and the continent and the role that journalism and the media can play in fostering development and democracy. The theme of the 2013 Highway Africa Conference is most opportune. A corporate citizen like Telkom cannot thrive in an environment of uncertainty – politically, economically and socially. The role of the media in holding us in power – in business, in government and in society, in general – accountable is important. Equally critical is the need for the media to provide platforms for all citizens and voices to be heard.
Telkom has played a huge role over the past century and more in the communications revolution that has redefined business, society – and government. In the process it has built up, and remains the custodian, of the incomparable national asset of the country-wide fixed-line network. Going forward, I believe our responsibility will be even bigger if you believe that the key to overcoming our challenges as a country and as a continent is information. It then becomes clear that Telkom has a central role to play.
It is in this quest to enable communication that we share something in common. Telkom as a company is focused on how our people can be able to unlock their potential in business, education and everyday life, using world-class telecommunications infrastructure, products and services.
I hope you will all have the opportunity to visit the Telkom stand and interact with our staff to know more about us and for us to meet you.
Finally, I would like to state that we do not see our partnership with Rhodes University around this conference as sponsorship but rather an essential investment in the media so that we can strengthen that very important constituency (journalists) in our society.