Honourable Minister Edna Molewa,Honourable Minister Edna Molewa
Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs
Government of the Republic of South Africa

I wish to welcome you all to the 17th edition of the Highway Africa Conference – the largest annual gathering of media professionals in Africa. Your chosen theme reflects your concern to see media workers and those in the field of communication, understand, interrogate and write about the challenges that confront our continent and the world at large.
The African media has an immense role to play in the continent’s development agenda. The media should provide a forum for discussion on sustainable development and educate our people on what little things they could do in their own environments that could make a difference.
It is for this reason that we have partnered with Rhodes University around the Highway Africa Conference. We see this conference as a key platform for us to sensitise key gate-keepers, you the journalists and editors, so that you may in turn educate our nation and our people across the continent about the effects of climate change and the mitigating factors we can adopt to save our
I strongly believe that it is through the collective efforts of all key stakeholders – government, business, civil society and media – that we can overcome the climate change challenges with our environment, water, economies and health.
In that light, South Africa is devising innovative green technologies and strategies such as the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Programme. I invite you to visit the display of Africa’s very first 100% pure electric vehicles, located in the Eden Grove Complex.
At the heart of the programme is the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy. Such an economy can create large numbers of green jobs across many sectors, and become an engine of development.
I wish to take this opportunity to wish the Highway Africa Conference
a happy 17th birthday. That this conference should have survived, and thrived, this long is due to the commitment of various partners – Rhodes University, leading South African companies and donors and foundations.
Once again, I take this opportunity to welcome you to the Republic of South Africa. I hope you will be met with the spirit of Ubuntu and enjoy our hospitality as a nation.
I also wish you fruitful deliberations over the next few days.