Amogelang Maluleka, Author at

Author: Amogelang Maluleka

MTN Group has been named by Brand Africa as the number one African brand that is doing good for people, society and the environment in a new category of its annual awards inspired by businesses shifting from profit to purpose. Brand Africa also named MTN as the most admired African brand recalled spontaneously.

“As we celebrate Africa Day, we are greatly encouraged to receive this accolade, which recognises our work to deliver on our strategic priority to create shared value with ESG at the core,” said MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita. “It motivates us to keep focused on providing leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress and to ensure that everyone enjoys the benefits of a modern connected life.

The new award category acknowledges MTN’s contributions towards empowering people, supporting sustainable societal development and preserving the environment. Through our broad range of initiatives and alliances, MTN Group demonstrates dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of Africans. 

Understanding that commitment needs to translate into action, our advances in this regard in 2022 include ensuring greater digital inclusion by extending broadband (including rural) coverage to almost 88% of the population in our markets; contributing approximately R149 billion in economic value-added to society; and reducing GHG emissions by around 13.9%^ as part of journey to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. 

This award would not have been possible without the support of the many stakeholders with whom we engage every day. I would like to thank them all – among them our customers, our employees, governments and regulators, and society at large across our 19 markets,” added Mupita as he acknowledged the role of the Group’s partners in its achievements in connecting the unconnected, uplifting communities and protecting the planet:

In April, Brand Finance assigned MTN the highest ‘sustainability perceptions value’ of all companies in its ‘South Africa 100 2023’ survey in which the Group retained the rank as South Africa’s most valuable brand.

MTN, Africa’s leading telecommunications company, is thrilled to announce its upcoming SME hybrid event aimed at fostering growth and providing essential resources to the continent’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The two-day event, featuring a combination of physical and online components, will bring together industry experts, inspirational thought leaders, and innovative solutions to support the success of African businesses.

Scheduled to take place from the 23rd to the 24th of May 2023 at the company’s 14th Avenue Innovation Centre, this groundbreaking event will serve as a platform for SMEs to connect, learn, and showcase their products and services to a broader audience. The event will feature a live exhibition of SMEs and partner solutions, engaging activities such as the highly anticipated JumpStarter funding  competition and insightful keynote speeches from influential industry figures.

MTN is committed to empowering SMEs by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support to thrive in a competitive business landscape. With this event, MTN aims to position itself as the leading brand dedicated to supporting the growth and success of over 40 million African SMEs through targeted development programs and a comprehensive range of services.

One of the event’s highlights will be the live exhibition, where selected SMEs will have the opportunity to showcase their innovative products and services to potential customers, investors, and partners. This platform will enable them to increase their visibility, expand their networks, and attract new business opportunities.

MTN’s commitment to supporting SMEs extends beyond the event itself. The company’s suite of services, including MoMo (Mobile Money), Digital, Ayoba, and Chenosis, will be showcased during the event, demonstrating how these platforms can empower SMEs with convenient and secure financial transactions, digital marketing solutions, communication tools, and access to a broader customer base.

“MTN understands the critical role SMEs play in driving economic growth and job creation across Africa,” said Tumi Chamayou, MTN Group Executive: Enterprise. “We are proud to host this empowering event that brings together the brightest minds and resources to support the success of SMEs. Our goal is to position MTN as the go-to brand for African entrepreneurs seeking to thrive in today’s digital economy.”

As reported in its 2022 Sustainability report, MTN supported 1,250 small and medium-sized enterprises through its enterprise skills development initiative. This SME event is a further testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to empowering African SMEs and driving their success. By providing a platform for innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing, MTN aims to equip SMEs with the tools and support they need to thrive in today’s competitive business landscape.

For more information about the MTN SME event, including registration details and the full lineup of speakers and activities, please visit MTN EBU SME 2023

The prestigious Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) Awards ceremony brought together procurement professionals from around the globe to celebrate their accomplishments. MTN Global Sourcing and Supply Chain (GSSC) emerged as the standout winner, taking home five prestigious awards, including the coveted “Procurement Team of the Year – Large Organization.”

The awards won by MTN GSSC include “Best Approach to Risk Mitigation” and “Best Initiative to Deliver Social Value Through Procurement,” highlighting the team’s commitment to excellence and their ability to create tangible value for their organization and society.

This impressive accomplishment demonstrates MTN GSSC’s unwavering commitment to delivering value and innovation, embodying the essence of MTN Group’s Ambition 2025 strategy – leading Africa’s digital advancement while making a positive and sustainable impact on the continent. Dirk Karl, Group Executive and Chief Procurement Officer, was recognized as “Leader of the Year” for his exceptional leadership skills and the positive impact he has made on the team and the procurement profession as a whole. Karl’s leadership has been instrumental in successfully implementing MTN’s agile operating model, contributing to the team’s outstanding performance.

The pinnacle of the night was MTN GSSC being named the “CIPS Overall Winner,” an award celebrating their extraordinary achievements across all categories.

These awards underscore the hard work and dedication of our team, and their commitment to delivering value and making a positive societal impact. Transforming GSSC into an agile, innovative organisation underpins our success tonight and this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our Group Chief Financial Officer, Tsholo Molefe and our Group Chief HR Officer, Paul Norman. It’s an honour to be recognized in this way, and it only strengthens our resolve to continue our relentless pursuit of excellence, shared value, and digital progress for Africa.” Says Dirk Karl, Group Executive and Chief Procurement Officer

The CIPS awards ceremony is a globally recognized event celebrating the accomplishments of procurement professionals. MTN GSSC’s sweeping victory at this year’s ceremony sets a new benchmark in procurement excellence and serves as an inspiration to their peers worldwide.

Project East2West partnership will:

Bayobab and Africa50 on Monday signed a partnership to develop Project East2West, a terrestrial fibre optic cable network connecting the eastern shores of Africa to those on the continent’s west.

The partnership will invest up to US$320 million connecting ten African countries over the years 2023, 2024 and 2025.

Bayobab is wholly owned by MTN Group. This investment is within MTN’s previously announced Ambition 2025 plans and will contribute to Bayobab reaching the Group’s target of having 135 000km of proprietary fibre over the coming three years.

This partnership with Africa50 comes at an opportune time, just as we rebrand MTN GlobalConnect to Bayobab to position the business as an Africa-focused open-access digital infrastructure platform,” said MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita.“The alliance is more than cables and connections; it is about building bridges of connectivity that span nations and bring people closer together.”

“For landlocked African countries, Project East2West will improve latency by almost two-thirds and increase capacity to support high-quality broadband access. In this way, it will level the playing field and ensure that everyone has a fair chance to succeed in the digital world,” he added.

The partnership will offer substantial improvements in data traffic for internet service providers, mobile network operators and hyper scalers operating in these countries. It will also bridge the bottlenecks in global internet traffic landing in and going out of Africa. It is expected to cut latency by up to 65% on the east-to-west route.

Bayobab CEO Frédéric Schepens said: “Guided by the belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life, we see the provision of digital infrastructure as critical in driving digital transformation, weaving African countries together and connecting them to the rest of the world.”

He added: “Africa’s connectivity relies on strategic and global partnerships coming together to build the much-needed large-scale backbone infrastructure to meet the explosive demand for digital services. We are looking forward to Project East2West meeting the connectivity demands to power digital services, bridging the digital divide across Africa, and paving the way for the sustainable digital societies of tomorrow.”

As a co-developer, Africa50 is fostering the harmonisation of regional data and security regulations, boosting consumption of local content throughout the region and promoting inter-regional exchanges and regional economic development.

Project East2West is a remarkable and transformative project that will step-change Africa’s internet capacity expansion drive by supporting the growth and development of 4G and 5G,” said Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobissé.

This is an important project that will have a significant impact on Africa’s quest to make the internet accessible to most of its growing population. Partnering with a large pan-African company like Bayobab and MTN is important to roll out such an impactful cross-border project,” he added.

The development of Project East2West is expected to be completed in 2025.

MTN GlobalConnect announced an important step in the evolution of its business through the unveiling of its new name and positioning – Bayobab. The brand reveal took place at International Telecommunications Week (ITW) Conference in Washington DC, attended by over 6000 delegatesfrom acrossthe digital wholesale telecoms community. The new identity, Bayobab, represents the company’s strategic transformation journey to connect Africa with open next-gen digital solutions through its two distinct businesses, Bayobab Fibre and Bayobab Communication Platforms.  

MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita said, “Building the largest and most valuable platforms is part of our Ambition 2025 strategic priorities. The brand change from MTN GlobalConnect to Bayobab reflects the change underway to position the business as a world class, Africa-focused open-access digital infrastructure platform serving not just MTN but other third parties as customers. We will also bring strategic partners into the business over time who will provide skills and capital to support and accelerate the growth of this business.” 

Inspired by the Baobab tree – which many recognise as the “tree of life”, Bayobab is the enabler of the digital connectivity value chain across the African continent. The rebrand is the first step in the business transformation journey since announcing MTN Group’s Ambition 2025 strategy to structurally separate its fibre business, targeted for completion by 2024. This will enable Bayobab to unlock value within the business, attract strategic partners, and comply with local regulations across its key markets.  

Commenting on the rebrand, Frédéric Schepens, Bayobab Group CEO, said: “As a young entrepreneurial business delivering value through open next-gen digital solutions, we believe Bayobab best encompasses our vision of connecting Africa and ensures we add meaningful value across the continent.”  

“Our strategy has borne much fruit, as evidenced by our performance and delivery. We are well-positioned to open a significant digital doorway that bridges Africa’s digital divide to connect communities,Schepens added. 

Looking ahead, Bayobab will continue investing in the business and its people to achieve its strategic goals. As Bayobab, we will remain committed to forging strong global partnerships that connect the unconnected, deepening internet adoption to accelerate Africa’s vision for digital transformation.  

Africa’s super app ayoba today announced the achievement of a significant milestone – surpassing the 25 million monthly active users’ mark as we celebrate our fourth anniversary.

This is up from 20 million monthly active users in December 2022. The platform is available globally but has a strong a focus on the African continent. Among key territories are Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda and The Republic of Congo.

“25 million is a significant milestone to pass on our fourth birthday,” says CEO Burak Akinci. “Our journey has been transformative, and the positive response from our users fuels our drive for innovation. Our users are at the heart of our progress, and we are grateful for their support.

So far in 2023, ayoba has focused on enhancing communication and content features. These have been well received, with a 35% increase in messages, and a 16% increase in both stories and VoIP calls. Users have viewed 88 million cards across all channels, in topics such as entertainment, education, food, fashion and more.

“The first four months of 2023 was a period of significant growth and development for ayoba. We have improved our socialisation and messaging functionalities, enhanced our microapp experience and added many more features,” Akinci says.

The introduction of the new ‘explore’ landing page marks a significant advance for the ayoba’s Android version. This page, currently in pilot phase, will be rolled out to all key territories in the future. It brings a simplified design for easy navigation through ayoba’s curated high-quality content and highlights our themes to our users.

The microapp’s vertical has also seen significant evolution in Q1 at ayoba, as a direct shortcut to the vertical has been added on the bottom navigation bar. This section, referred to as an evolving ‘ecosystem for small African business’ – and some larger ones – allows service providers easy access to the existing ayoba user base with minimal effort. The most popular microapps currently are ‘live scores’ (allowing users to get the latest sports scores), ‘ayoba gifting’, ‘video play apps’, sports, and shopping.

Born out of a partnership with MTN, ayoba is available on all networks. In certain participating territories, users on ayoba receive complimentary daily data, amplifying its value proposition*. ayoba’s growth trajectory has it on track to achieve 100 million monthly active users by 2025 in line with MTN’s Ambition 2025 strategy.

*VoIP and video call are not zero rated for MTN subscribers

MTN Group is committed to enabling the benefits of a modern connected life for everyone in our markets. Our 2022 Sustainability Report (SR) spells out our work in the year to create shared value, with ESG at the core.

In a year fraught with challenges, we remained focused onensuring that we create value for our stakeholders through responsible environmental, social, governance and economic value-added practices and solutions. The challenges included the protracted effects of the pandemic and the first war in Europe in 80 years, accelerating inflation, supply chain disruptions and the escalating climate crisis.

Reflecting on the increasing global focus on sustainability, Nompilo Morafo, MTN Group Chief Sustainability & Corporate Affairs Officer said, “Organisations are now expected from than ever before to operate responsibly, with integrity, and with a focus on the wellbeing of our communities and planet.

“By combining our core connectivity and mobility strengths with emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, cloud computing and machine learning, we are laying the groundwork for a thriving digital economy and helping to solve many of the challenges facing our customers and communities today.”

Among key ESG metrics on which we made improvements in 2022 are the Group’s reduction of GHG emissions in the year (approximately 13.9%^ compared to an annual target of 3.5% in pursuit of reaching Net Zero emissions by 2040); MTN’scontribution to sustainable societies through increasing broadband coverage (to 88% of the population from 83% in 2021); and our performance score on governance, freedom of expression and privacy according to Ranking Digital Rights (the most improved company in the index for the second year in a row).

In a case study, we spell out MTN South Africa’s work to reduce GHG emissions, our energy footprint and our reliance on the national grid through a major solar project to make our 14thAvenue head office a completely green one.

We also detail our economic contribution to society (approximately R149 billion from R115 billion in 2021); discuss our circular economy efforts and those to use natural resources responsibly; our work to accelerate digital and financial inclusion; initiatives to foster a more diverse society (including increasing the representation of women at MTN to 40%); and projects to safeguard our people and customers and further embed ethical and responsible business practices.

Driven to ensure a diverse and inclusive workforce in 2022 for the second year running, we performed a gender pay gap assessment across 18 markets. We focused our efforts to determine the reasons for the gender pay gap, and established plans to reduce this over the short and medium term.

In case studies from eSwatini, Rwanda and South Africa we discuss efforts to make MTN’s products and services more accessible to people living with disabilities, and in particular to develop products and services to meet the communication needs of the visually and hearing-impaired community.

With a focus on growth, we outline how we are enabling local economies, empowering local enterprises and unlocking local ownership across our markets. We refer to our tax contribution;our network infrastructure investment; and our localisation and enterprise development initiatives, including providing digital skills training to more than 1 250 SMEs.

A case study on Rwanda shows MTN’s MoMo platform integration to enable the collection of various government services, taxes and fees, and the disbursement of local government payments to vulnerable people, as well as the payment of university student bursaries and teacher salaries through MoMo.

As we strive to be the partner of choice to our nation-state hosts, communities, suppliers and other stakeholders, every year we monitor how our stakeholders view us. In 2022, our Reputation Index Survey showed a score of 79.6%, compared to our 75% target.

“All these efforts – including our work to cut GHG emissions, strengthen data privacy and security, minimise the gender pay gap and uphold digital human rights are reflected in the continued improvement in the ESG ratings accorded to MTN by key raters and rankers,” says Morafo.

We invite all our stakeholders to read our 2022 Sustainability Report as we continue to position MTN at the centre of Africa’s transformation to improve people’s quality of life and to be economically empowering and environmentally sustainable.

In particular, we draw stakeholders’ attention to numerous case studies on a wide range of topics from Cameroon, eSwatini,Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

Read our sustainability report here:

Nabatanzi Flavia, at 23 years old, is the eldest of four siblings raised by a single mother. When her Grade 12 (S.6) results were released, Nabatanzi’s life came to a standstill as her mother could not afford university fees. The death of Flavia’s father had forced her stay-at-home mother into a state of shutdown, leaving her struggling to make ends meet and ensure Flavia’s siblings could attend school and achieve a Grade 7 (P7) certificate. Flavia’s mother advised her to work at a salon, contributing to the household income and helping to pay for her siblings’ education and the family’s basic needs.

One morning, a neighbor brought Flavia a flier for the Smart Girls Foundation’s “GIRLS WITH TOOLS” project, which offered free training in traditionally male-dominated careers. Although initially hesitant and influenced by her community’s belief that engineering skills were unsuitable for girls, Flavia gained the courage to enroll in electrical engineering after receiving orientation and counseling.

During her 2019 training at the Smart Girls Foundation Uganda, the MTN Foundation visited the center and made a Y’ello Care donation. This event further inspired Flavia as she interacted with MTN Uganda female employees from similar backgrounds. The MTN Foundation’s donation of tools to the GIRLS WITH TOOLS program increased Flavia’s passion for electrical engineering, as it provided more learning resources for skill development.

In 2021 and 2022, the MTN Foundation built the New Home GIRLS WITH TOOLS Skilling Center and donated computers, providing girls like Flavia with a well-equipped and functional learning environment. Now a 2023 graduate of the MTN GIRLS WITH TOOLS program, Flavia works as an electrical engineer for MANTRAC UGANDA Limited on the Tilenga Total Hoima project. She is proud that her skills enable her to support her family while taking care of her own needs. Flavia also gives back to the Smart Girls Foundation Uganda by teaching and mentoring girls enrolled in similar programs, as she appreciates the opportunities provided by the MTN GIRLS WITH TOOLS initiative.

Flavia envisions herself becoming one of Africa’s leading female electrical engineers within five years, using her skills and tools to inspire others. Committed to self-improvement, she is a highly motivated, passionate, and hardworking individual. Flavia’s strong work ethic, good values, and excellent skillset, gained through the MTN GIRLS WITH TOOLS program, continue to open doors and create opportunities for her.

MTN Group is pleased to announce the release of our suite of annual reports for 2022. The Integrated Report, the Sustainability Report, the Transparency Report and the Tax Report provide details of our work in the year to deliver on our purpose and our plans to build the MTN of tomorrow.

“2022 was challenging year for everyone, everywhere, and was characterised by increased macroeconomic and geopolitical volatility,” says MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita. “But through the challenges, we stayed focused on our Ambition 2025, which is to provide leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress, and pursued opportunities to extend digital and financial inclusion for society at large.”

Our Integrated Report is our primary communication to all stakeholders. It aims to provide a holistic view of the Group in order to enable them to make an informed assessment of our strategic performance and prospects and the value we create and preserve through our business activities. It shows the connectivity between our strategic priorities; our material matters; the six capitals; the UN’s SDGs; our stakeholders; and the risks we face and the actions we are taking to mitigate them.

It contains the key focus areas of each of our board committees in the year and their plans for the year ahead. The Integrated Report also spells out our governance structures, policy and processes, as well as our remuneration policy and how we link rewards to performance.

In the Sustainability Report, we provide details of our environmental, social and governance performance and commitments. This is in a world that is lifting expectations of all organisations to operate responsibly, with integrity and a focus on the well-being of communities and the planet.

This year, our Sustainability Report incorporates the GSMA’s new industry-specific ‘ESG Metrics for Mobile’ disclosures. It shows how we are positioning MTN at the centre of Africa’s transformation to improve the quality of life of Africans and to be economically empowering and environmentally sustainable,”says Mupita.

It details our progress in establishing MTN as a responsible, transparent and sustainable organisation, building on our climate disclosures and the work we are doing to strengthen data privacy and security, minimise the gender pay gap and uphold digital human rights.

Our Transparency Report provides insight into how MTN approaches digital human rights strategy and practice. We believe all people should be able to communicate freely; to access and exchange information responsibly; and to enjoy privacy and security when using digital communication and data,” says Mupita.

Our voluntary Tax Report explains our tax affairs, shows our contribution to the socioeconomic development of our nationstate hosts, and that our total tax contribution in the year amounted to more than R51 billion, up from more than R44 billion in 2021.

The 2022 suits of reports outlines the progress we are making as a company and the contribution we are making to society more broadly, which we trust all our stakeholders will find useful,” says Mupita.

Read the reports here:

MTN Group today announced the launch of its flagship MTN Skills Academy in Zambia, the first of its operations to roll out this initiative which is aimed at addressing the digital skills gap in Africa. First introduced at MWC  in Kigali,  the MTN Skills Academy is a free, online learning platform that will see MTN play its role to actively drive digital skills development and job creation across Africa and have at least 60% of youth and adults on our markets having at least a minimum level of proficiency in sustainable digital skills by 2025.

With a starting point and recognition that the Digital Skills  Gap Index reports 12 of the world’s 20 countries with the weakest digital skills being in Africa, this online learning platform provides young people with access to world-class training and resources in digital and financial literacy, work readiness, mentorship, and job placement services. The MTN Skills Academy is delivered in line with the AU’s digital transformation strategy ambitions.  

Speaking at the launch event, the Minister of Sports, Youth and Art, Hon Elvis Nkandu said, ”The launch of the MTN digital skills Academy is a significant milestone for Zambia’s digital development. The government’s commitment to promoting science, technology, and innovation in the education sector coupled with initiatives such as the MTN digital skills academy, underscores Zambia’s determination to equip its youth with the skills necessary to thrive in the digital era”.

A strategic priority of MTN Group’s Ambition 2025 strategy is to create shared value. In this instance, the launch of the MTN Skills Academy will enable the Group to leverage its operation to enable digital inclusion and transform lives in Africa through the provision of the much needed digital training to the communities within which it operates. This launch is further demonstration of the Company’s commitment to building a sustainable future for Africa by creating economic opportunities for young people and driving the growth of the digital economy on the continent.

“It is no secret that in order to be competitive in this rapidly changing world, digital proficiency is a necessity, ”said Nompilo Morafo, MTN Group Group’s Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer. “It is for this reason that we are thrilled to bring the MTN Skills Academy to Zambia, and to help young people across the country gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the digital economy. As a pan-African company, we are committed to driving growth and development across the continent, and through this investment, we are helping to create a more equitable and sustainable future for Africa.”

The International Finance Corporation reports that by 2030 approximately 230 million jobs will require digital skills, yet the continent is far behind in reaching these numbers. The MTN Skills Academy is designed to address this critical shortage. It will initially focus on offering online training in digital and financial skills, work readiness, mentorship, and job placement, with plans to expand to include in-person training and on-the-job training in the future.

The Academy  is designed to be flexible and adaptable, allowing it to respond to changing digital skills demands and provide young people with the training and resources they need to succeed in the digital economy. By continually evolving and improving the program, MTN can ensure that the academy remains a valuable resource for students and helps to bridge the digital skills gap in Africa.

The launch event for the MTN Skills Academy in Zambia took place on 25th of April, with a range of stakeholders and partners in attendance. Interested individuals residing in Zambia may access the courses and training programs offered by the academy by visiting the website and signing up.