MTN Group CEO: Years of investment paid off during Covid-19 pandemic


MTN Group President and CEO, Ralph Mupita has stated that contrary to the notion that MTN and other tech industry players profited from Covid -19, in the case of MTN, it was rather years of consistent investment in their network that paid off during the pandemic.

He has therefore given the assurance that MTN will continue to invest heavily in all of its 19 operations, in spite of the current economic conditions in emerging markets and developing countries where it operates. 

The MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita gave this assurance at an engagement with Ghanaian journalists dubbed: ‘Time With Ralph Mupita’ in Accra as part of his three-day working visit to the country.

Ralph Mupita noted that while several sectors were adversely impacted by Covid-19, the tech industry and MTN in particular soared because the company has over the past 20 years plus invested and continues to invest heavily in network infrastructure and other areas of its operations.

“So our good performance during the pandemic is not because we focused on profiting from a global crisis but rather because of our many years of sustained investments in our business which paid off,” he said.

In year 2020, the MTN Group recorded impressive financials supported mainly by the performance of its South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana operations, and a strong group-wide growth in subscriber base in spite of the wide adverse impact of the pandemic across its markets.

It was during the pandemic that Ralph Mupita was appointed Group CEO and President in August 2020, and he led the team realize a very impressive performances in the third and fourth quarters of the years.

The company even went on to do even better under Mupita’s leadership in 2021, resulting in the group leadership walking away with fat packages for 2021.

Indeed, over the period, MTN did not hold back on its support for Africa in the fight against Covid-19, investing heavily in PPEs across its operations, into staff and customers’ safety and working from home strategies, vaccines and several other support systems for the general public.

Ralph Mupita said MTN recognizes its positions as an African multinational and therefore cannot walk away from challenges facing African countries, adding that, although the company operates mainly in developing countries, which are experiencing multiple crises characterized by the economic impact of COVID-19, climate change and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, MTN is confident to sail through because “some of these conditions won’t linger on for long.”

He noted, for instance, that the surging inflation resulting from what he called the three Cs – Covid, conflict and climate change – even though poses a threat to everything, is cyclical and will therefore not derail MTN’s investment in its countries of operation.

“Yes, inflation impacts everything but it is cyclical – so, it won’t affect the Group’s investments,” he stated.

He gave the assurance that the Group will continue to invest in network upgrade and expansion for data and voice, 3G and 4G, broadband, cybersecurity, mobile financial services, among others to improve the experience of its over 270 million customer across the 19 operations.

The MTN Group CEO said the Group would continue to work with governments and regulatory authorities to provide solutions to improve the lives of the people in its markets of operations.

“The MTN Group is in Africa for the long haul. The position that we have as MTN Group is to keep developing digital solutions for Africa progress. This is a multi-year long-term project we need to sustain,” he said.

The media engagement was also attended by MTN Ghana CEO, Selorm Adadevoh, who has led MTN Ghana to recorded some of the most impressive performance in the group, for which the Group CEO described MTN Ghana as a “jewel in the group’s crown.”

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