MTN honours 22 individuals, organisations: Unveils $1bn infrastructure investments

BY: Maclean Kwofi & Abigail Sedinam Kortiah
Kwabena Yeboah presenting an award to Ama Amankwa Baafi
Kwabena Yeboah presenting an award to Ama Amankwa Baafi

MTN Ghana has started investing about $1 billion to upgrade its network infrastructure in the next five years to be able to deliver quality service.

The investment is also part of the company’s new strategy dubbed Ambition 2025, aimed at transforming the network from a traditional telecom (telco) to a platform or technology (techco) player with enhanced digital services.

Under this ambitious blueprint, the company seeks to build some key platforms, including financial technology (Fintech) solutions, MTN’s digital/Ayoba platform, enterprise solutions, network as a service and an application programming interface (API) marketplace.

It will spur the telco into a solid techco that can accelerate adoption of technology, impact businesses and support the economy.

New focus

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, made this known at the maiden MTN Media Awards in Accra last Friday, at which two reporters with the Graphic Communications Group Ltd picked up awards.

Ama Amankwa Baafi, who is with the Graphic Business, won the Best Report in the Print Category, with Suleiman Mustapha winning the Second Runner-up place for the Print Category.

Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo presenting a prize to Suleiman Mustapha

Samuel Dowuona writes on telecommunications at Techgh24. He won the Overall Best Writer, after he had picked the topmost award in the Online Category.

The awards was to commemorate the 25th anniversary of MTN, which started in the country as Spacefon, became Spacefon Areeba after an acquisition, before MTN assumed the reins of the company after acquiring its Investcom in 2006.

New focus

Mr Adadevoh stated that the company’s 25th anniversary served as a platform for the business to restrategise and launch a new focus called Ambition 2025 strategy.

“This has culminated in our new position and brand refresh. MTN is now an emerging platform business from traditional telco to techco.

“And so, in the journey to techco there will be several new and exciting initiatives to deliver quality and superior services,” he said.

He described a techco as a technology company that presented a platform to enable the ecosystem or the environment for all units of the society to leverage to meet their needs.

“So being a techco means MTN is on a journey to become a platform player that enhances and accelerates the ecosystem and not just a traditional telecoms company.

“This will take investment, strategic restructuring and a lot of things including cultural, mindset and so, we will make a lot of investment.

“In the next five years, we have committed to invest over $1 billion in our infrastructure alone and that includes becoming a platform player,” he said.

Significant gesture

Communications consultant and immediate past Board Chairman of GCGL, Professor Kwame Karikari, said the award was a significant gesture to the country’s media space.

“It is coming at a time that Ghanaians have been grappling with the problem of professionalism in journalism. Every journalistic award, however, is a challenge to journalists.

“There are many awards and some of the best journalists in the country do not participate but whatever it throws a challenge about the standard of journalism in the society,” Prof. Karikari, who is also a member of the Media Foundation for West Africa, said.

He said awards schemes often encouraged journalists to do their work right and also urge them to remember their duty to society.

“The duty journalists have is to inform society accurately, professionally, fairly and lift public debate to levels that are enlightening, so what MTN is doing with regard to the media award is an important intervention,” he added.

Investigative journalism

Prof. Karikari observed that investigative journalism, which was one of the key areas of journalism, had now become feeble in the country.

He explained that decades ago there was an appreciable number of people practising investigative journalism, but today it appeared that realm of journalism was beleaguered.

“In spite of these there are so many things that need to be exposed to the larger society. There are so many issues that the public needs to know.

“We hope that in future, MTN Ghana will also join other organisations in looking at the area of investigative journalism,” the communications specialist added.

The awards

In all, 22 organisations and individuals were honoured at the awards night for their contributions and support to MTN Ghana for the past 25 years.

It was categorised in special and competitive awards.

Out of the total, 10 were special awards presented to the National Media Commission (NMC), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Media Foundation for West Africa; Network of Communication Reporters, Journalists for Business Advocacy, Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), Private Newspapers Publishers Association, an astute media consultant, Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, and Consultant, Nii Marley.

Other winners in the competitive category include Michael Abayateye of the Ghanaian Times; Rev. Dr Felix Klutsey; Kofi Ahovi, a freelance journalist.

The rest are Thomas Tetteh of Dynamite FM, Rosemond Adjetey of EIB Network, Nana Adjoa Enstuah, Asaase Radio; Ms Francisca Arhin of GH One TV, Mr Kweku Bolton of GBC and Mr Phil John Kortey of Metro TV.

The winners took home prizes which consisted of cash, digital devices, mementos and citations.

The Chairperson of the award jury, Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, said 76 entries were received from journalists across the country.

“With majority of the entries presented by journalists from Accra, all entries were supposed to speak to the topic – MTN Ghana: 25 years of brightening lives,” he added.