by Ntshinka Lusizo
Before I attended highway Africa conference I thought it was all about gathering people from different countries for dinner and social chats. However after attending conference for the first time my thoughts changed completely about Highway Africa conference, in fact Highway Africa conference is not what I thought it was. Highway Africa is trying to achieve issues that involve journalism and commerce. It has goals of assisting future journalists to understand the world of journalism, future businessmen/women to be broad minded about the business world as well as delegates to be aware about importance of their carriers. Highway Africa gathers people from different disciplines to share their skills and experiences so that students can benefit from those skills and experiences. Students get the opportunity to meet successful people from different organisations and countries who can help them to achieve their goals.
It focuses on struggles that media and journalism are facing and suggest the solutions. I used to think journalism is about only exposing stories to publics but today I learnt that it digs issues that not everyone can see. I learnt that journalists are facing many challenges, for instance most African countries do not give journalists direct access in continental courts and also government does not enhance media standards to mention the few. Highway Africa believes that education is fundamental in promoting human rights therefore universities must provide courses that promote human rights. Critical investigated press that express needs of the people is life blood of any democratic country.
African media are being dominated by western media therefore highway Africa is trying to close that gap by providing future journalists with enough knowledge, skills and experience that they will need to improve African media even better. I found out that western media are using their powers to help their governments on using African resources illegal. African leaders are seen as the causes of African media being underestimated by western media and by the people in general. African leaders prefer to personal talk to western media more than African media because they do not want to be exploited.
Highway Africa will significantly contribute to me as a future journalist. My main interests lie in fields of journalism and commerce therefore I see this conference as the route that can assist me to reach the goals that I have set for myself. As I already said that my interests lie in two fields I have got a life time opportunity of meeting business executives who are coming from different organisations and countries as well. They have provided me with information and knowledge that I needed to achieve my goals. I got a chance to choose from different internships around the continent. Journalists from different African countries taught me that journalism is the field that needs to be respected than being criticised. The are opportunities of getting scholarships and internships from different organisations therefore Highway Africa has will contribute a lot to me as student.