MTN Celebrates 30 Years of Connecting Africa, Driving Economic Growth and Digital Inclusion

MTN marks 30 years, highlighting its role in connecting people, fostering economic growth, and digital innovation.

MTN marks three decades of operations, celebrating a legacy of connecting people, changing lives, and driving economic growth across South Africa and the African continent.

As we reflect on this significant milestone, we express our sincere gratitude to all our stakeholders, past and present, across multiple jurisdictions, for their support. We couldn’t have achieved this remarkable success without you.

Ralph Mupita, President and Chief Executive Officer, MTN Group

Since its inception in 1994, MTN has evolved from a small South African start-up with 20 employees into a global telecommunications leader, employing over 17,500 individuals representing more than 70 nationalities across 18 diverse markets.

In South Africa, MTN’s impact has been profound. The company’s network now reaches 97% of the population, providing a foundation for digital inclusion and economic empowerment. By investing in cutting-edge technologies like 4G and 5G, MTN has ensured that South Africa remains at the forefront of technological advancement. A recent study by KPMG showed that MTN South Africa’s contribution to the country’s GDP is substantial, making it a key player in the national economy.

The evolution of handsets and the proliferation of apps have democratised access to information and essential services, from financial solutions to healthcare, education, and entertainment. This has been a game-changer for individuals and businesses alike.

MTN’s influence extends far beyond South Africa. In 2023, the MTN Group recorded over R220 billion (more than US$11 billion) in revenue, a testament to its market leadership and the growing demand for digital services across Africa. This success has driven the company’s market capitalisation to over R150 billion, solidifying its position as one of the continent’s most valuable companies.

Across Africa, MTN connects millions, empowering them with essential communication tools and access to vital services. More than 149 million people rely on MTN’s network for data access, fuelling a digital transformation that is reshaping industries and societies. Additionally, MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) provides over 65 million individuals with access to financial services, driving financial inclusion and economic empowerment in underserved communities.

MTN’s commitment to socio-economic development is evident everywhere. In 2023, the Group’s total tax contribution to governments across markets was nearly R62 billion (over US$3.3 billion), supporting vital public services and infrastructure development. MTN’s operations also generated some R159 billion in economic value, creating jobs, stimulating economic activity, and fostering digital innovation.

From the outset, the Group has been driven to make a social impact. Launched in 2001, the first MTN Foundation had an annual budget of R22 million. In 2023, MTN spent ten times that – R220 million – in corporate social responsibility across markets, with a special focus on developing digital skills to enable the digital economy.

Furthermore, both MTN Group and MTN South Africa have achieved Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment status, underscoring their commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social transformation.

MTN’s dedication to giving back is embodied in the annual “21 Days of Y’ello Care” initiative, which has been extended to 30 days this year to commemorate the 30th anniversary. Kicking off on 01 June 2024 under the theme “Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow: Education for Rural and Remote Communities,” this initiative mobilises MTN employees across the continent to dedicate their time and resources to enhance educational opportunities. This year, the focus is on bridging the educational divide in rural and remote areas, providing digital learning tools, and supporting educational infrastructure to empower the next generation of leaders within these communities.

MTN’s 30-year journey is a testament to the transformative power of technology and the unwavering spirit of innovation. Looking to the future, MTN remains dedicated to bridging the digital divide, empowering individuals and communities, and driving Africa’s sustainable and inclusive progress through cutting-edge digital solutions.

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