- …This is a speech delivered by CEO of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, at the company’s 25th-anniversary stakeholders’ dinner
It is an honour and a pleasure to welcome you all to this special event that represents 25 years of our operations in Ghana. It goes without saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
In our 25-year journey, we have gone together with you overcoming many challenges; 25 years of collaboration and partnerships; 25 years of serving our communities together; 25 years of working together to shape policy; 25 years of believing in Ghana, taking risks and driving economic growth in various ways, together.
The opportunity to serve you could not be more meaningful. We are indeed good together. Thank you for being there with us for 25 years. Let me take this opportunity to thank government and the people of Ghana for your individual and collective roles in seeing us through our journey to date, and I welcome you all to tonight’s celebration.
Special mention to our past CEOs who have provided outstanding leadership at various stages of the business – starting with Ghasan Queida, Ahmed Farouk, Brett Goshen, Michael Ikpoki, Serame Taukobong and Ebenezer Asante.
Your legacy lives on, and today we celebrate MTN Ghana as much as we celebrate you.
Our distributors deserve a special mention. They have toiled in the hot sun to grow this business to what it is today, through their investments and extensive development of canvassers and retailers throughout the country. We appreciate you all, and on behalf of MTN Ghana Management and Staff, I welcome you to tonight’s event. Our many partners across many dimensions – technology, HR, advisory, supply chain etc., you have all been such a rock for us through the years; welcome to tonight’s event.
Let me share a little bit about MTN’s journey with you
MTN Ghana’s story is one that started with one person’s vision to transform the way we communicate. 25 years on, MTN Ghana now employs 2,500 Ghanaians, serves over 25 million customers, provides innovative solutions to many corporates, institutions and SMEs, and has enabled over 30% of Ghanaians to be digitally and financially included.
In our bid to live by our tagline ‘Everywhere you go’, we have democratised trading on the Ghana Stock Exchange through our IPO – which brought over 127,000 Ghanaians from all over the country into the equity market for the first time ever.
We have invested in supporting the communities within which we operate, with over 158 projects impacting over 4 million Ghanaians to date across health, education and economic empowerment. Beyond that, MTN Ghana is responsible for over 500,000 jobs and today contributes over 6% of total tax revenue to the government of Ghana.
From humble beginnings in a small office with a few employees fuelled by a powerful vision, a purpose and desire not to relent even under the most challenging of conditions; knowing that one day, the story would be a worthy one that inspires many others who also only have a vision.
Making our customers the centre of the celebrations
We launched our 25th Anniversary celebrations on June 2nd, and have since rewarded our customers through various surprises, giveaways – and climaxed this with a major promo that saw us reward 25 customers (at least one in each region) with a Hyundai Sonata. These rewards are to express our appreciation for the support and loyalty of our cherished customers, without whom MTN Ghana would have no meaning.
You will agree that our people deserve a lot of appreciation. We have celebrated our MTN Family with various surprises monthly. We honoured our longest-serving employee, who was here on day-one, with a new Hyundai SUV. Thank you MTNers for all you do. Our celebrations and appreciation continue with all our stakeholder groups – government, our distributors, our media partners and all our other partners.
The Future Focus – MTN as An Enabler in Ghana’s Development
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we are eager to play our part in Ghana’s development agenda. Establishment of the AFCFTA and the relevance and opportunity that digitalisation boasts as a tool for development make it even important now more than ever to achieve the objective of a digital Ghana.
Due to the pandemic, the increased demand for data and digital services has resulted in a data capacity deficit for Ghana – whereby the growth in demand for Data far outpaces growth in supply of new capacity to adequately serve this demand.
Our ambition as a country to become a digital economy requires an even larger investment in technology infrastructure over the next 3 years. We see government’s primary role as being to ensure an enabling environment that encourages and incentivises new infrastructure development and maximisation of existing assets (such as spectrum and fibre) for rapid and cost-effective injections of new capacity into our existing networks – while we build longer-term highways to carry the increasing demand.
We see Ghana as the most strategically placed country to be a digital hub in the region, exporting skills and services as a means to diversify and accelerate GDP growth. This makes technology leadership in the region, an imperative for Ghanaian SMEs to be relevant in an AFCFTA era. It is therefore incumbent on us not only to act, but to act now.
Your Excellency, you can count on MTN Ghana’s commitment toward the future we all desire for our motherland. We project to invest over US$1billion in infrastructure and information systems over the next 5 years, starting this year, to support the vision of a digital Ghana.
We recognise that our contributions toward infrastructure alone is not enough, and we also need to support broader ecosystem acceleration. As such, we have pledged our support for government’s ICT developmental efforts through the provision of an ICT Hub and developing a plan in partnership with government for establishing West Africa’s first Innovation City, here in Ghana.
These initiatives will help government expand ICT skills literacy to thousands of young and unemployed Ghanaians, promote SME digital innovation and new business-idea incubation, invite major global technology players into Ghana beyond Twitter, and many other new and emerging opportunities.
Ladies and Gentlemen, during our 25 years in Ghana we have inspired and supported many young Ghanaians through various initiatives, and we are not resting on our laurels. As part of our 25th anniversary, I am pleased to announce that the MTN Ghana Foundation Board has approved a project to build a modern 60-bed high-tech maternity and neo-natal centre for the Keta Municipal Hospital at a cost of GH¢9million. This will be the first of its kind in the entire Volta Region.
In addition – and in line with our ambition to develop ICT skills in our Ghanaian youth with a particular focus on the girl-child – the MTN Ghana Foundation has also approved investing GH¢1.2million in building a STEM Robotics Lab for the Mamfe Girls School and surrounding communities, for their sterling performance in the national and international Robotics competition.
As I conclude, ladies and gentlemen, and as we have done in the past 25 years; we know that “If you want to go fast, you go alone; but if you want to go far, we go together”. We are acutely aware of what lies ahead for us as a business, but also as a country; and we count on you to come with us into the future and cross many more milestones together.
Ladies and gentlemen, as this is intended to be a welcome speech, let me get on with it. On behalf of the Board, management and staff of MTN Ghana, I welcome you to our stakeholder dinner to celebrate 25 years of brightening lives in Ghana and beyond. Thank you once again for coming; enjoy your time with us this evening and we’ll see you all on the dance floor later. Thank you!