Grahamstown, South Africa – The theme of Highway Africa 2012 is Africa Rising and Highway Africa's Awards Gala was highlighted by the recital of the poem "Africa Rising" by media leader Meredith Beal. The poem is from Meredith's book Victory Every Day released on Treasureland Inspire Press. The book is a collection of photographs from Meredith's travels accompanied by his poems and song lyrics.
Highway Africa is one of the largest annual gatherings of journalists on the African continent. The event took place on the campus of Rhodes University in Grahamstown, SA. The conference explored the continent's rising economies, innovation enabled by technology and the need for Africans to tell their own stories and looked at how the media frames the continent's geopolitics, trade and economic growth.
Contrasting an image of the cover of a 2001 issue of Economist magazine featuring the headline "Africa -- the Hopeless Continent," with an issue earlier this year with the headline "Africa Rising," Chris Kabwato, Highway Africa's Director, described key indicators of the continent's emerging global influence. "Seven of the fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa," he stated.
"A journalist friend of mine asked me where we got the theme from," Kabwato recalls. "I told him, 'Because Africa's rising.' He said 'You know, I wrote a poem back around the turn of the millenium by that title.' 'You're lying,' I said. Then I told him, 'If you really wrote it then you have to do it at the gala tonight."