08 September, 2009
“People must be educated and fed, before they can begin to appreciate democracy.” These were the cutting words of Salim Badat the Vice Chancellor of Rhodes University.
Speaking at the opening of the 13th Annual Highway Africa Conference, Badat tackled the Conference theme of “Reporting Africa: 2010, Development and Democracy”. He placed the concepts of democracy and development into two categories’, thin and thick. Badat explained thin democracy as looking at the formal and academic borders of the concept, while thick democracy acknowledged, defended and proclaimed the rights of individuals.
Badat also described development in these terms as he ascertained that thin development was more economic in its nature, while thick development encapsulated social and political norms which allow a country to move forward. The challenge that he put forward was for journalists to keep these ideas firmly in mind especially in reporting 2010.
Badats’ speech marked the beginning of the two day conference which consists of a number of class journalists, bloggers, academics and citizen journalists, who have descended on Rhodes University this week.
By: Chwayitisa Nandisa Futshane
Pics: Masebe Qina