This week, the Africa-America Institute (AAI) in New York presented the Corporate Social Responsibility Award to MTN Group. Ralph Mupita, president and CEO of the MTN Group, collected the honor on the organization’s behalf at the 70th Anniversary Gala of AAI.
The region’s largest telecom provider, with 272 million members, received recognition for revolutionizing communications on the continent, closing the digital gap, spurring economic growth, and raising living standards.
MTN has revolutionized how Africans communicate with one another and the rest of the globe, according to Kofi Appenteng, president and chief executive officer of AAI.
The AAI is a 70-year-old institution that promotes communication between Africa and America through dialogue, education, and training.
According to AAI, nearly 23,000 Africans have earned scholarships and fellowships since its inception in 1953. Among the alumni are Namibian President Hage Geingob, Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, Niger President Mohamed Bazoum, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mupita speaking on the award said: “This recognition humbles us. We are also inspired and encouraged to continue to drive digital and financial inclusion and create shared value. We believe this work gives Africans dignity, hope, and opportunity.”
According to the most recent data from the GSMA and Broadband Commission, the GDP increases by an additional 1.5% for every 10% rise in Internet use. However, just one-third of people on the planet utilize the internet. Mupita believes that investments in digital infrastructure and services must be prioritized.
“These people are still not digitally connected and could well end up as a digital underclass,” he added.
“We must make sure that when technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) advance, we also acquire powerful language models trained on African languages. Initiatives like conversational payments, which are gaining traction in nations like India, must swiftly arrive in Africa.
Nompilo Morafo, the chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer for MTN Group, continued, “Our business has always been about more than connectivity; it’s about empowering communities, driving inclusion, championing diversity, and ensuring that our operations leave a positive, lasting impact.”