MTN Uganda has today joined the world to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day with a commitment of Shs 2.8 billion dedicated towards the advancement of information and communication technologies (ICT) targeted initiatives in the country.
Celebrated on May 17, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is commemorated annually to raise awareness of the potential transformation that the use of the Internet and other ICTs can impact on societies and economies, as well as ways to bridge the digital divide.
MTN through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) vehicle, MTN Foundation has dedicated 60 per cent of its 2022 annual budget towards information and communication technologies (ICT) targeted initiatives. According to Enid Edroma, MTN general manager for corporate services, MTN Uganda is taking a deliberate effort towards sustainably educating and skilling Ugandans in ICT.
“Over the years, the focus of our CSR has been mainly in the health sector and I am glad to note that we have registered positive outcomes and touched the lives of so many people through the various initiatives undertaken. This year, we are shifting our focus more towards ICT as we strive to ensure no one is left behind amid the global shift towards ICT and digitization propelled especially by the effects of the coronavirus,” Edroma explained.
She added: “Therefore, of the Shs 4.8 billion afforded to the MTN Foundation’s 2022 CSR activities, 60% of that will be set aside for ICT related initiatives. This move is testimony to MTN’s commitment to creating a modern connected society and ensuring that communities reap the benefits. These efforts will also be complemented by initiatives supporting non-ICT sectors for instance, health and education.”
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day has this year been held under the theme: Digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing. Further explaining the rationale behind the strategic shift, Edroma said that MTN is seeking to support and empower marginalized groups of people such as women and people in rural areas among others through ICT targeted initiatives undertaken by the MTN Foundation.
Key among the initiatives and focus this year; is the MTN Internet Bus which traverses parts of the country equipping people with basic computer skills, the MTN ICT Community hubs and the National ICT Innovation Hub program.
In 2020, MTN also introduced the MTN Youth Skilling Program which among other aspects trained and equipped youth with digital skills to enable them create and sustain businesses digitally. More than 100 youths have been equipped with skills in ICT since inception of the program.
According to Edroma, the vision behind the strategic shift to boost ICT training is to realize a Uganda that is much more technologically savvy to create solutions for challenges in the country and also enable her citizens compete on the global space.