Saturday, September 05, 2009

Highway Africa opens to a flying start at MTN reception

Danny Jordaan says Y'ello to 400 African journalists at Highway Africa reception


The 2009 edition of the annual Highway Africa conference will kick off to a euphoric start this Sunday when the media delegates from across the continent are addressed by 2010 Organising Committee CEO Dr Danny Jordaan.


The MTN-sponsored reception will be held at the newly-built Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.


Over 400 journalists from more than 43 countries in Africa are expected to attend the event which will see the beginning of the three-day conference organized by Rhodes University's School of Journalism and Media Studies and supported by sponsors such as MTN.


In line with the 2009 Highway Africa theme, Reporting Africa: 2010, development and democracy, MTN has chosen the 48 000-capacity Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium as the venue to host the reception in order to give the journalists a glimpse of what South Africa has to offer during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. MTN is the first and only African global sponsor of the FIFA World Cup™, which will be hosted in Africa for the first time in 2010.


"The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ will be African football's crowning glory for the incredible contribution this continent's footballers have made to the global game. We as South Africans are honoured to be hosting Africa's first FIFA World Cup on behalf of the entire continent. And it's critical for us at the 2010 Organising Committee that we involve and engage our fellow Africans in the World Cup process. Highway Africa gives us a wonderful opportunity to interact with hundreds of African journalists from over 40 countries and we thank MTN for helping to arrange this great platform for us to update the continent on our progress," says Jordaan.



MTN Group Executive for Corporate Affairs and Spokesperson, Ms Nozipho January-Bardill will be the host at the opening reception. Jordaan, the Deputy Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Councilor Biks Ndoni and the Rhodes University Vice Chancellor, Professor Saleem Badat are expected to address the delegates at the reception.


This year's edition of Highway Africa runs from 6-9 September. MTN, which has been the exclusive mobile partner of Highway Africa for the past eight years, will participate in the 2010 FIFA World Cup State of Readiness panel discussion that will be chaired by Mathatha Tsedu. MTN, whose sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup secured the company exclusive mobile content right for Africa and the Middle East, will also lead a parallel workshop on Mobile Television.


The guests at the reception will be given a tour of the host city as well as a tour of the world-class facility that will host some of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ games.


Says January-Bardill: "As a global company with its roots firmly in Africa and as sponsor of the world's biggest football spectacular, MTN believes that the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ is not a South African affair, but an African event. It requires all of us to collectively put hands on the deck to ensure that the event is a roaring success."


She continued: "A successful 2010 FIFA World Cup™ will be the necessary antidote to dispel the lingering pessimism about Africa and about the continent's ability to host a tournament of this magnitude."


Speaking about MTN's eight-year sponsorship of Highway Africa, January-Bardill said the sponsorship gives MTN an opportunity to contribute to the development of journalism, particularly reportage on Information Communication Technology sector.


"It is in our best interests to have a vigilant, knowledgeable and probing media. The Highway Africa conference does not only demonstrate the value of partnering to achieve specific objectives, but over the years it has also offered us a rare opportunity to touch base with one of our most important stakeholders – the media," concludes January-Bardill.





-Issued by MTN Group Corporate Affairs



Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN". As at 30 June 2009, MTN recorded 103,2 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Visit and



Highway Africa 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. 2009 sees the 13th edition being hosted in Grahamstown with a record attendance of 735 persons in 2008 and offers a journalists reflection on 2010 in the New Media environment. The Highway Africa annual Awards expand to over five categories in their ninth year, continuing to recognise excellence in ICT journalism in Africa.


For more information contact:


Pearl Majola

MTN Group Communications

Mobile: +27 83 212 2459


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