A schools connectivity project which seeks to bring much-needed broadband internet to schools in remote parts of Swaziland has been shortlisted along with two other MTN entries in this year’s AfricaCom Awards.
In addition to the ‘schools connectivity’ project, shortlisted for a ‘Changing Lives Award’, MTN Swaziland also received a nomination in the ‘Most Innovative Service’ category for its XtraTime service. MTN Group’s ‘Welcome to the New World’ global brand campaign, which has been nominated in the ‘Best Marketing Campaign’ category, completes the trio of nominations.
The schools connectivity project aims to enrich the learning experience in schools in remote communities of Swaziland, through the provision of mobile internet connectivity. The project is a practical solution to a challenge faced by communities in the country, and is in line with MTN’s efforts to focus its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives on education.
As part of the schools connectivity project, MTN Swaziland partnered with an IT solutions company to provide 3G connectivity to 40 schools in the country. The initiative aims to ensure that schools offering Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as part of their curriculum have access to the internet through 3G technology at affordable rates.
The project was launched in 2012 and was also a key activity in the 2013 edition of MTN’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care programme in June, where a number of primary schools in the rural parts of Swaziland, received computers and internet connectivity to enhance the delivery of education in these schools.
21 Days of Y’ello Care is MTN’s annual staff volunteer programme held across the company’s footprint in Africa and the Middle East, and is aimed at encouraging MTN staff to take an active role in giving back to their communities.
Launched in December 2012, the XtraTime service allows prepaid customers to get an advance on airtime when their limit is exhausted. The innovative service caters to a large percentage of the Swazi population, who are ordinarily financially excluded. XtraTime also offers customers convenience, as they can easily top up at any time and when conventional methods of purchasing airtime are not available. In addition to Swaziland, the XtraTime service is also available in 7 other MTN markets.
MTN’s third nomination, the Welcome to the New World global brand campaign, articulated MTN’s belief that emerging markets are on the cusp of a brand new world which would be driven by digital technology. The campaign utilised television, print and online channels.
AfricaCom Awards are held annually during the AfricaCom conference, and recognise excellence in the telecoms, media and ICT sectors. Winners will be announced on 13 November 2013.
This year marks the 7th year of participation for MTN in the AfricaCom conference and exhibition.
MTN speakers at this year’s conference include MTN SA CEO Zunaid Bulbulia and MTN Uganda CEO Mazen Mroue on 12 November; MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer Pieter Verkade and MTN Ghana Customer Service Executive Jemima Kotei Walsh on 13 November and MTN SA Chief Enterprise Business Unit Officer Kanagaratnam Lambotharan on 14 November.