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map…download campus map here.
Grahamstown must be one of the busiest small towns in South Africa. Despite the traffic it sees anually the town remains relatively easy to navigate. Highway Africa brings a fresh bunch of faces, hopefully the map will help all visitors find their way around.
Today is the final day for Highway Africa Conference registrations!
Date of Conference : 17-19 September 2011
Venue : Cape Town ICC
The 2011 Theme: African Media and Global Sustainability Challenge
The dramatic melting down of the glaciers of the Arctic, the droughts ravaging Africa, the floods in the Americas and ever temperatures rises may have provided drama for television and other media but the issue of global sustainability calls for more drastic and comprehensive response from the media. Read the rest of this entry »
- Camera container serves as a time capsule. Delegates from the 2006 HA conference placed memorobilia for the next ten years and is to be opened at HA Conference 2016. Roland Standbridge placed a bottle of wine which we know will be pretty mature by then.
In my quest to learn how many times Highway Africa Conference has moved venue I caught up with Roland Stanbridge, one of the founders of Highway Africa. He cleared the air in this regard. Stanbridge said “I am Looking forward to Highway Africa in Cape Town, I may be wrong, but I think Highway Africa was once held in Johannesburg.” Read the rest of this entry »
Professor Alfredo Terzoli
Q. Highway Africa has recently acquired funding from Telkom and we have ground breaking work being carried out by the Computer Science and Telkom Centre of excellence in distributed Multimedia at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape now has a hub of ICT strength in the palm of it’s hand, given it is also the largest province in South Africa, with the highest poverty and dire socio economic differences. Can we expect more from this part of the world or is it too soon to ask … “what sustainable programmes” people of the Eastern Cape can envisage in the future coming out of this new found hub of sponsored ICT’s?
A. I think we can expect more. The opportunity is too good to let it die, instead of scaling the operation up to the right size, as to have a real impact and make a difference. Interestingly enough, the cluster of expertise that you sketched in the question is getting larger. A software house, Reed House System (RHS), has been started in Grahamstown and is ‘productizing’ the findings in the Siyakhula Living Lab (SLL), the experimental site in the Mbashe Municipality for ICT for Development work of the Centre. An important participant in these ventures, for years now, is the twin Telkom Centre of Excellence at the nearby Fort Hare University, led by Dr Mamello Thinyane. Various organizations and body seem to be interested in coming to the party: the Department of Communication, the Technology Innovation Agency, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation. We should see interesting developments at the beginning of 2012.
Q. In which areas of development do you envisage ICT’s will and can add further value to enhance the many challenges on the continent, from domestic to professional to academic sectors of society?
A. It is difficult to think of a single area where ICT won’t be an important addition, or even simply is not the key enabler.
Q. Corporate, namely Telkom, has made great strides in supporting ICT’s, how in your view can smaller companies also assist in associating their brand with sustainable development in Africa.
A. They can in various ways. They can offer in-kind contribution, such as the use of their radio licenses, for example, or their expertise and maybe knowledge of segments of society not yet known well enough by the first economy players. Of course, they can get great mileage from it, as well as be first in the market when this market (ICT for development) will open.
Q. Your efforts under the auspice of Telkom and Rhodes University have benefitted the schools in and around the Eastern Cape, what advice do you have for schools in other countries in Africa, how can they help enhance the education of children in their schools? Did the schools approach you or did Rhodes University approach the neighbouring schools?
A. Well, schools are typically in a difficult position: lack of funding, not good infrastructure etc. Still, we have had more than one example of schools taking up the challenge of at least source computers (if not the connection to the Internet, that in rural Africa can be rather expensive still). In our case it was Rhodes approaching the schools, together with Fort Hare in the case of the Siyakhula Living Lab. One should keep in mind that finding ways of getting ICTs is easier when the schools are happy to open the door of their ICT installation to the rest of the community, which make the installation more efficient and gives it more transformative power.
Q. New Media in Africa has truly added value and the most recent example are the revolutions taking place in the middle east and having a ripple effect across the world. ICT’s in the form of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube has enabled citizens to expose their plight in Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt. What more in your view can be done by citizens to enable the media to further shed light on the rights of people being abused, crimes being committed or feel good stories being told?
A. I think we are seeing a transformation of how democracy is implemented and used. A lot of the attributes that we associate to democracy (few people representing many, elections only every 5 years or so, little dialogue with the ‘people’ after the ‘representative’ are elected etc) are simply dictated by technology constraints that have been with us for a long time. These constraints are being removed progressively by ICTs, which at the core allow faster communication and generally symbol storage and manipulation.
Q. Electricity is an expensive commodity in Africa can ICT’s work off solar as it is a natural source of abundance in Africa?
A. I do think that small scale solar and wind are very suitable to conditions in large parts of Africa. Of course, they are costly, at least initially: but how costly is the infrastructure to bring the electricity produced elsewhere? Also, deployment of small scale solar and wind solutions could spur a full industry, in the middle of the technology spectrum (not high tech, no low tech) and labour intensive, so with characteristics that might be suitable at least to parts of Africa right now.
Highway Africa respects the 9th August in honor of all women. While it is a day that can be used to relax it is also a day strategically said aside 17 years ago in South Africa to pay marked respect to all women. This day commemorates 9 August 1956 when women participated in a national march to petition against pass laws (legislation that required African persons to carry a document on them to ‘prove’ that they were allowed to enter a ‘white area’).
The Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw) organised the March, led by four women; Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophy Williams and Lilian Ngoyi. The leaders delivered petitions to Prime Minister JG Strijdom’s office within the Union Buildings. Women throughout the country had put their names to these petitions indicating their anger and frustration at having their freedom of movement restricted by the hated official passes.
To conclude the Women’s March the women sang freedom songs such as Nkosi sikeleli Afrika, however, the song that became the anthem of the march was “Wathint’ abafazi, Strijdom!”
[When] you strike the women,
you strike a rock,
you will be crushed [you will die]!
The march was a resounding success and we recognise the bravery of these women who risked arrest, detention and banning by declaring 9 August National Women’s Day.
There will be celebrations all over the country tomorrow and Highway Africa will not only be with all in spirit but in their efforts to keep journalism alive on the continent and ensure the peoples stories and concerns reach global audiences are told. The many new media platforms such as www.highwayafrica.com linked to twitter and facebook alongside the international annual conference, 17-19 September 2011, Cape Town ICC. The annual Highway Africa conference is the largest gathering of AFrican journalists on the contient that not only seeks to uphold the efforts of journalists on the African continent but seeks to ensure that it is at the heart of all issues ensuring issues of gender and particularly the rights of women in the world are upheld.
Happy Womens Day!