An unprecedented summit of African media conferences take place Friday 16 September to Monday 19 September 2011: Highway Africa, Pan African Conference on Access to Information, Digital Citizens' Indaba, the African Forum for Media Development, various editors' forum meetings, and workshops for African journalism educators.
The conferences coincide with the proposed march
on parliament by the R2K campaign which seeks to have a "public interest" clause introduced into the "Secrecy Bill". The march is likely to culminate at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) in a pan-African link up that celebrates information access.
The lead events are:
- The 15th annual Highway Africa takes place from Friday 17 September to Sunday 19 September at the CTICC, will focus on 'African Media and Global Sustainability Challenge' in preparation for the COP17 event in Durban.
The conference will touch on newsworthy issues such as:
- How do we innovate in the media in a time of massive ICT change
- Regulating the print media (in the light of the Media Appeals Tribunal) - including experiences in the UK, Ghana, South Africa and Uganda
- Mobile and Convergence: the future of communication is here?
- The Pan African Conference on Access to Information, a product of nine media organisations from across the continent, is expected to attract information stakeholders including media NGOs, MPs, ministers and civil servants
In addition, numerous sponsors are backing the events; they include MTN, Telkom, Absa, Media24, South African Tourism, the City of Cape Town, and the Swedish Embassy.
The combined gathering commences on Friday 16 September with a gala dinner at the CTICC at 6.30pm. It culminates in the Africa Information and Media Summit (AIMS) at 3.30pm on Monday 19 September 2011.
The AIMS marks the 20th anniversary of the 1991 Windhoek Declaration, which gave rise to World Press Freedom Day. The objective of AIMS is for the new declaration, called "Africa Platform for Access to Information", to have a similar global impact. This new declaration will set out international principles and call on UNESCO and the UN General Assembly to recognise 28 September as World "Access to Information" Day.
Sunday night, 19 September 2011, will see the Highway Africa awards
as well as the continent's first awards for activism on access to information.