Absa and Barclays mark 10 years of supporting Highway Africa
Absa and Barclays mark 10 years of supporting Highway Africa Conference
The inaugural Data Journalism Bootcamp, a highlight
Date: 10 September 2012
Absa Group, in partnership with parent company Barclays, are marking 10 consecutive years of supporting the annual Highway Africa Conference with the launch of a Data Journalism Bootcamp at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.
Highway Africa which this year runs between 9 and 11 September is regarded as one of the world’s largest gathering which brings together journalists, media practitioners and owners under one roof to discuss trends and developments affecting the media on the continent.
Commenting on this year’s conference, Kennedy Bungane, Chief Executive of Barclays Africa and Head of Africa Strategy, says the conference adds impetus to Absa and Barclays One Africa strategy. More importantly, he says, it signifies the active role that both Absa and Barclays play in the growth and development of an effective media across Africa.
Says Bungane: “Together, Absa and Barclays have a presence in 13 African countries. Our long standing partnership with Rhodes University through Highway Africa demonstrates the commitment we have toward the economic and social development of African countries. In fact, we do believe that an active media will be best placed to tell the African success stories which characterise our great continent.”
This year’s conference boasts a number of renowned international media experts including a number of practitioners and academics from across Africa, Europe, Asia South America and the USA. Various global organisations such as the World Bank and UNESCO are also represented.
Chris Kabwato, the Director of Highway Africa, says the Data Journalism Bootcamp which ran between 5 and 7 September 2012 was presented by The World Bank Institute, Google, the African Media Initiative, the Open Institute, the Open Knowledge Foundation, the International Center for Journalists, and Rhodes University's School of Journalism and Media Studies.
Kabwato says: “In recent months central and local governments around the world have ‘opened' data, for free, including as part of the Open Government Partnership. While this has resulted in intense excitement from software developers, hackers, development practitioners, and government sponsors, but much of the public has been left behind.
“The level of informed public debate on data-related issues across ‘opened’ sectors remains variable at best,’ he notes.
This inaugural Data Journalism Bootcamp in South Africa provided a practical introduction to demystify 'opened' data, and enable participants to explore opportunities to ‘find the story’ using this data through experiential training on use of data tools and platforms, and more.
“Opening data was indeed an important first step, and now the media must become savvy interrogators of this data, so it can be understood by and resonate with individuals and communities, who may ultimately use it to become more active agents of their own development,” says Kabwato.
Absa Group Limited (Absa), listed on the JSE Limited, is one of South Africa’s largest financial services groups offering a complete range of banking, insurance and wealth management products and services. Absa’s business is conducted primarily in South Africa. It also has equity holdings in banks in Mozambique and Tanzania, representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria and bancassurance operations in Botswana and Mozambique.
Absa is a subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC which holds a stake of 55,5%. Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking, and wealth management with an extensive international presence.
For more information, please visit the Absa website: www.absa.co.za
About Highway Africa
The Highway Africa Centre is a programme of the School of Journalism at Rhodes University. The Highway Africa Conference is the flagship event of Rhodes University and since its launch in 1997; it has grown to become the largest annual gathering of African journalists on the continent. The focus of Highway Africa is on the impact of the internet and mobile technologies on journalism and the media.
For more information, please contact:
Anele Ngwenya +27 46 603 7139 or email@example.com
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