MTN Group today reaffirmed its commitment to the promotion of excellence in journalism on the African continent, announcing its sponsorship of the 2015 Highway Africa Conference.

The conference is the largest annual gathering of African journalists in the world and takes place from 30 to 31 August in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Themed “Journalism in the City”, this year’s event will explore the relationship between the media narratives and the city, in particular, looking at aspects such as how a city’s geography, economic activity, politics and social life influence journalistic narratives; how language and identity are implicated in the narratives of the city; and how ICT innovation enables city dwellers to tell their own stories and to challenge dominant narratives.

Highway Africa aims to develop a vibrant and growing network of African journalists empowered to advance democracy and development through their understanding and use of appropriate technologies. MTN shares in this vision, and is equally passionate about the advancement of journalism on the continent.

“African journalists hold the responsibility of driving our continent’s narrative. As a proudly African company, we recognise the significance of Highway Africa in bringing together these journalists, to engage about issues facing our continent and shaping that narrative”, says Chris Maroleng, Executive for Corporate Affairs, MTN Group.

The relationship between MTN Group and Rhodes University is now in its eighth year. As part of its support of the conference, MTN also sponsors media organisations in some of its markets to send journalists to the two-day event.

“The longevity of this partnership with Highway Africa is testament to MTN’s unwavering commitment to the development of good journalism in Africa. I am most grateful for this continued support given the wider economic challenges South Africa is facing,” says Chris Kabwato, Director for the Highway Africa Centre.