Reflecting Hope for a Brighter Future
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Donovan Smith
For 16 years, one of Africa’s leading telecoms operators has been revolutionising advanced technologies and infrastructure development in The Republic of Congo, with social enrichment and evolution underpinning all continuous improvements.
MTN has long been renowned - continent-wide - for its ability to evolve a nation into a technically functioning telecoms hub, and while this has certainly been one of the Company’s key missions in Congo-Brazzaville, all decisions have been made with the population’s wider wellbeing in mind.
“Our policy is to offer through our values: ‘can do, leadership, innovation, integrity and relationships’,” the Company’s Head of Corporate Services, Cyriaque Okoumou Ombolla says. “Day after day, the quality guides the Company’s commitments and the technical services are supervising the facilities 24-seven in order to promptly respond to any inconvenience; ensuring a network responding to qualitative requirements in terms of services.
“The achievements of MTN Congo through its social arm - the Foundation - also respond to normative values through the Company’s social programmes conducted for the good of Congolese communities in various fields such as health, social and community development, strengthening school infrastructures, eradicating poverty, child welfare, sport as well as fighting against AIDS in an innovative and sustainable way.”
A consequential, all-encompassing slogan of ‘everywhere you go, wherever you go’ reflects the ultimate progressive will that derives from such a commitment to nationwide development and is further entrenched in its business colours of yellow, blue and red, the colours of Congo and of Africa; “reflecting hope for a brighter future”.
Ombolla recalls the Company’s and sector’s evolution thus far: “This issue worthy of the paradox of the egg and the chicken took a full meaning at MTN Congo early in 2010 where telecoms and internet were what we called the new information technologies and represented a dream for the Congolese population, but was already a prospective vision for the MTN Group and MTN Congo.
“For the CEO of MTN Congo, Freddy Tchala, ICT is more than a challenge as it concerns both the telecoms market and all the sections of the Congolese economy, with a specific orientation focused on the social and economic development of communities beyond the Company’s field of expertise, which allowed the emergence of original business models for the benefit of the Congolese economy.
“Today, the positive impact of the contribution of MTN Congo in the telecom sector can be felt through various sectors of the Congolese economy. The Congolese telecom sector can rely on its reputable stage of development in ICT with a contribution in the same way as amenities such as drinking water, electricity and transport.”
More than one million subscribers
At 42,000 square kilometres and comprising almost 4.5 million inhabitants right in the centre of the continent, the Republic of Congo’s potential for industry prominence has never been in doubt and MTN achieved early success as a result of its 2005 acquisition of LIBERTIS Telecom; a Company already having enjoyed six years of operations in the country.
“MTN Congo’s registered capital has increased from XAF10 million to XAF11 billion in seven years; its shares owned entirely by MTN Group International,” Ombolla explains. “MTN Congo is now present in more than 500 towns and villages in Congo-Brazzaville, the current coverage rate is more than 90 percent of the Congolese population for a market share approaching nearly 51 percent, and the Company currently has more than one million subscribers.”
Creating almost 300 direct jobs and a further 10,000 indirect employment opportunities in the process, MTN Congo’s rapid rise to prominence has been a result of diversification, and excelling in providing the best range of telephony products and services tailored for the Congolese population.
“This includes several products and value-add services tailored for companies, institutions and individuals; such as the Call Me, Conference Call, the Waiting Call, the CLIR, the service of transferring credit, the roaming service, and our Mobile Money solution,” Ombolla adds.
Best employers in the country
The role of MTN Congo is not only to make profit, but considering its philosophy in terms of sustainability, it concertedly prides itself on its role as a social enabler and developer for the country’s economy; derived from its unrivaled levels of innovation and ICT technologies.
“Technologies like Mobile Money, 3G and Wimax contribute to the sustainable growth of Congo and the Company positions itself in the top tier ranking in the list of African countries in ICT,” Ombolla says. “In the MTN Group, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an opportunity; a shared balance between economic development, respect of the laws and regulations of stakeholders, the quality of research, innovation, and the simplicity of products and services offered through growing customer relations.”
Other products and services to this end include all voice and data solutions, internet packages, unparalleled network speeds, Business Card, MTN Play, Zik MTN, MTN Xtra Time, MTN Backup, Me2U, Call Me Back, MTN Zone and Electronics Recharge; all compounded by a local and balanced workforce on hand to talk new customers through its solutions’ benefits.
Ombolla notes: “MTN Congo employs more than 260 Congolese people whose average age is 30 years, with most of its staff young people recently out of Congolese high schools and universities.
“Through a distribution network, the Company is indirectly committed to almost 5,000 people. All these jobs are making MTN Congo one of the best employers in the country.”
Skills and attitudes
If customer satisfaction is a principle, then development, protection and employee satisfaction is a sacrosanct duty through support in terms of information, health, financial services, training and also through programmes such as COS and Ethics ensuring freedom of expression and cultural rights; all grouped within the social policy of the MTN Group.
To instil a sense of togetherness and social collaboration from the top to the bottom of the Company, a set of principles have subsequently been laid out to ensure that everyone is singing off the same hymn sheet in order to formulate a more sustainable philosophy for the future of MTN in Congo.
These include a Charter of Customer; a CSR Policy; an Establishment Convention; an Ethics and Governance Committee; an Interior and Ethics Code; a Purchasing and Procurement Policy; a Governance and Risk Management Committee; and a Recruitment Committee.
Ombolla states: “At MTN Congo these principles are non-negotiable and are the making of MTN Congo’s business model; an employer of choice, especially in the economic ecosystem in Congo-Brazzaville.
“In May, 2015, MTN Congo commemorated the first 15 years of the Company through the exploitation of its telecom license, which was an opportunity for the management to express its gratitude to all its employees for their contribution in building MTN Congo in the social and economic ecosystem of the Congo.”
He concludes: “This represents a huge responsibility for MTN Congo for the next fifteen years, an awaited challenge for the CEO, and for the Company to become an essential lever for scanning and digitising the Congolese ecosystem through values such as a strong professionalism, and an ability to innovate and reinvent oneself at MTN Congo through questioning oneself about the achievements of each employee; both in terms of knowledge and development of skills and attitudes.”