Author: Bonisele

MTN Group welcomed a high-level delegation from Nigeria’s National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at our Johannesburg headquarters on Thursday.

The visit – co-hosted by the SA-Nigeria Business Chamber, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and the Nigerian embassy – is part of a NIPSS study tour to explore the intersection of digital technology, youth empowerment, and sustainable job creation in Nigeria.

Amb. Alexander T. Ajayi, Chargé d’Affaires of the Nigeria High Commission, led the delegation to the meeting, which included prominent government officials, military representatives, law enforcement personnel, and leaders from professional associations. The visit further strengthened the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and South Africa, presenting a significant opportunity for learning and collaboration.

On behalf of the Nigerian government and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to MTN for hosting our delegation,” said Amb. Alexander Ajayi, reflecting on the significance of the visit. “Collaboration and strategic partnerships are crucial in harnessing the full potential of digital technology for socio-economic development. By integrating efforts, we can create robust frameworks that empower our youth, drive job creation, and foster sustainable growth.

During the visit, the delegation engaged with MTN Group and MTN Nigeria executives, led by MTN Group Executive for Consumer Business Enzo Scarcella. They also toured MTN’s Technology Innovation Lab, witnessing cutting-edge advancements firsthand.

We are honoured to host this esteemed delegation,” said Scarcella. “The visit underscores our commitment to supporting Nigeria’s digital transformation and economic growth. By working together, we can unlock the digital economy’s full potential and create a connected future for all Nigerians.”

The theme of the week-long study tour to South Africa – “Digital Economy, Youth Empowerment, and Sustainable Job Creation in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities” – encourages dialogue and identifies new areas on which to collaborate to further both nations’ objectives to build digital societies for tomorrow.

A’isha Umar Mumuni, Chief Digital Officer at MTN Nigeria, reaffirmed the company’s pledge to boost digital infrastructure, driving Nigeria’s economic growth. She highlighted MTN’s commitment to advancing Nigeria’s digital landscape through investments in connectivity, digital platforms, and expanded financial services to rural areas, solidifying the company’s dedication to the country’s digital future.

MTN – which marks its 30th anniversary in 2024 – is committed to leveraging its expertise and resources to empower Nigerian youth, bridge the digital divide, and accelerate sustainable development, fostering hope and optimism for the future.

The Group has called on African governments to consider harmonising regulations – particularly in the tech sector – to support the increased capital investment in digital infrastructure required to accelerate economic development.

MTN Group – which started operating in South Africa in 1994 – has 18 operations, 17 of which are in Africa. The Group’s biggest subsidiary by subscriber numbers is MTN Nigeria, which had almost 78 million subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 2024. MTN Nigeria began commercial operations in August 2001.

MTN Group’s commitment to shared value in Africa extends beyond providing essential connectivity. In 2023, our total tax contribution to governments across all markets increased by more than 12% to R61.7 billion. This figure encompasses the direct corporate taxes we pay, indirect taxes, operating licence fees, payroll taxes, property rates, dividend taxes and withholding taxes.

“Our total tax contribution is equivalent to the cost of building more than 500 high-quality schools,” notes MTN Group Chief Financial Officer Tsholo Molefe, adding that governments across our markets could use our total tax contribution (TTC) to invest in infrastructure, education, healthcare and a wide range of other public services.

“Our commitment to paying our fair share of taxes supports the positive relationships we have with governments and communities; it also promotes stability and predictability in the business environment,” said Molefe, adding: “This not only attracts foreign investment but also creates new job opportunities, further stimulating economic growth across the continent.”

To maintain transparency, MTN releases an annual Tax Report as part of its suite of reports. This year, we mark 30 years of connecting people and driving digital and financial inclusion. We recognise that the business’s growth in this time would not have been possible without the trust and support of our many stakeholders.

“We build public trust through transparency, including open communication about our tax affairs, including via our Tax Report,” Molefe said.

The report details our broader economic contribution across our markets – beyond the corporate taxes we pay. It also unpacks the evolving global tax environment, MTN’s approach to tax, tax governance, our TTC by market, as well as our effective tax rates.

In 2023, our West and Central Africa (WECA#) region accounted for 39% of our independently assured total tax contribution.This was followed by Nigeria, with 31%; our Southern and East Africa (SEA^) region at nearly 14%; and South Africa at almost 11%.

“We are very pleased to play our part in supporting Africa’s progress and encourage stakeholders to explore our Tax Report for a detailed look at our impact beyond the economic activity created through providing essential communications services across 17 African markets.”

For our 2023 Tax Report, please see MTN Group | home (mtn-investor.com)

In 2005, a heartwarming story unfolded in the heart of Uganda. Alice, a 70-year-old widow and the sole caregiver for seven orphans, lived in a humble mud-and-reed shack in the village of Naama in the Mukono district outside Kampala.

One day, her life took an unexpected and joyful turn. A busload of MTN employees, their faces beaming with warmth, arrived in her village, not as telecom professionals but as compassionate builders. Their mission: working with Habitat for Humanity to construct a sturdy, four-room brick house with a well-ventilated pit latrine for Alice and the children – they were going to do the same for her neighbours, Namisango and Harriet, who were also widows.

The houses that MTN built

With infectious enthusiasm, the MTN team, sporting bright yellow T-shirts and bandanas, got to work. Under the watchful eyes of skilled masons, the MTN staff split into three groups, each allocated to a different site. Together, they tossed bricks, mixed mortar, and built walls for the new homes that would soon become safe havens for Alice, Namisango and Harriet.

The laughter and camaraderie filled the air, a testament to the power of community and shared purpose. As the walls rose, so did the hopes and dreams of those who would soon call these places home.  After six hours of dedicated labour, the walls had reached window level, and the MTN team could take a break. They chatted with the villagers, including the astonished but delighted Alice, Namisango and Harriet, and shared in the joy they were creating.  As the sun began to set, they headed home, leaving the finishing work to the professional builders, but with hearts full of accomplishment and a renewed sense of purpose.

By 2005, MTNers in Uganda, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, had constructed over 200 low-cost houses for underprivileged rural communities. This act of kindness, while significant, was just the beginning of MTN’s commitment to community development. These MTNers were practising something that would only be formalised two years later, in 2007, with the launch of 21 Days of Y’ello Care, a group-wide initiative that has touched countless lives across Africa. This initiative marked a significant step in MTN’s journey, showing MTNers’ commitment to making a lasting impact.

Labours of love

Since its inception in 2007, 21 Days of Y’ello Care has become an annual tradition, happening every June (except for 2020 when COVID-19 intervened). MTNers from across the continent eagerly roll up their sleeves to participate, dedicating their time and skills to directly improve the lives of people in the communities they serve.

Over the years, Y’ello Care has evolved into a powerful force for good. As many as 13,000 staff a year have participated, leaving an indelible mark on countless lives. They have constructed not only homes but also schools where children’s laughter fills the air, hospitals where healing takes place, and computer labs where dreams are ignited. They have painted and rehabilitated schools and hospitals, organised blood donation drives to save lives, refurbished streets and orphanages, and empowered communities with the tools and knowledge they need to thrive.  From remote villages to bustling cities, the impact of Y’ello Care has been felt far and wide, leaving behind a trail of gratitude and renewed hope.

To encourage and recognise their efforts, volunteer staff, with the support of their suppliers, compete for trophies and an annual top prize of US$100,000 awarded by the Group President and CEO for the best Y’ello Care campaign – with funds promptly reinvested in ongoing CSI projects in the winning countries.

A lasting World Cup legacy

In 2010, MTN partnered with United Against Malaria (UAM) as part of the Group’s “We can’t wait. Let’s go 2010” campaign during the FIFA World Cup. This project, aimed at combating malaria, involved educating communities and distributing over 28,000 mosquito nets to at-risk individuals. MTN also committed to being malaria-safe in all 16 of its African markets and donated R275,000 raised from World Cup fan parks to UAM.

In 2012, as part of Y’ello Care, MTN ran its first group-wide Y’ello Global Career Day, aimed at preparing close to 7,500 young people for jobs in the digital economy. In the same year, also focusing on education, MTN Cameroon refurbished several public libraries in five municipalities, including the establishment of an e-library. A nationwide publicity drive collected more than 100,000 books for these libraries, most of which were in rural and underprivileged parts of the country.

In 2018, Sudan won the Group President and CEO’s Y’ello Care award after running three business clinics hosted by MTN employees, two of which were aimed at young people who wanted to start their businesses or youths with solid entrepreneurial ideas but who needed support in business-related subjects. A third clinic targeted people with disabilities with practical help in converting recycled materials into commercial products. Drawing in a number of business partners to support those attending the various clinics ensured the continuing sustainability of the project – beyond the 21 days of Y’ello Care.

Y’ello Care: A legacy of empowerment

The 2024 Y’ello Care initiative, themed “Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow,” and extended to 30 days in celebration of MTN’s 30th anniversary, recently concluded with unprecedented staff mobilization across the continent. The initiative focused on bridging the educational divide in the digital age, with employees engaging in impactful activities such as school refurbishments, establishing digital libraries, providing access to online educational resources, and conducting digital literacy training programs for students and teachers.

From Alice’s new home in Uganda to countless other lives transformed across the continent, Y’ello Care stands as a shining example of MTN’s enduring legacy of making a difference. It is a testament to the power of collective action, reminding us that even small acts of kindness can create a ripple effect of positive change that echoes through generations. As MTN continues its journey, Y’ello Care will remain a cornerstone of its mission, ensuring that MTN’s impact extends far beyond telecommunications, enriching the lives of communities throughout Africa and creating a brighter future for all.

Bayobab Group, a subsidiary of MTN Group, is pleased to announce that the network outage affecting services in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan has been fully restored. Service was restored on Tuesday, 25 June 2024, at 20:38 GMT.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of our valued customers during this disruption. We remain committed to providing reliable and resilient services and will continue to invest in infrastructure to mitigate future outages.

Thank you for your continued support.