MTN has reiterated its commitment to Africa’s progress at the Africa Prosperity Dialogues, recently held at Peduase, in Accra, Ghana.
The program, organised by the Africa Prosperity Network, was designed to drive Africa’s growth through high-level dialogues between government and business leaders from Africa and beyond to deliberate and exchange ideas on key issues and solutions for building and harnessing Africa’s growth.
Ebenezer Asante, MTN Group Senior Vice President, Markets, encouraged industry players as well as government officials from across Africa to support cross-border trade by putting an end to what he called the “tyranny of sovereignty”.
He applauded the government of Ghana’s decision to facilitate visa-free travel for Africans and bemoaned the challenges Africans face in making cross-border payments and transactions.
He said, “The tyranny of sovereignty must end to allow proper trade and ease of doing business across West Africa. Technology continues to transform the way we trade, and we must leverage the immense opportunities it presents to trade within our borders.
“The tyranny of sovereignty is an impediment to progress because with our borders closed to each other, we cannot foster seamless trade. African countries must open their borders to each other to allow intercontinental trade.”
Nompilo Morafo, MTN Group Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer and Selorm Adadevoh, CEO of MTN Ghana, contributed to the conversation on “Critical Enablers for Single Market Success – Leveraging Infrastructure, Innovation, and Technology”.
Morafo underscored the significance of corporate entities engaging in discussions that propel Africa’s development. She expressed MTN’s enthusiasm for participating in initiatives like the Africa Prosperity Dialogues, which are vital for promoting digital and financial inclusion. Morafo added, “What we hope for is that at the end of these dialogues, we will see policies and frameworks enacted to bring to life the wonderful ideas we discuss at these sessions towards the overall growth of the African continent”.
Adadevoh, echoed her sentiment highlighting the advantages of harnessing the power of the youth to push Africa to the forefront of technology. He said, “It is not enough to invest in the infrastructure without investing in the skills needed. Africa has the largest youth population in the world. We must harness the power of the youth by transforming our current educational system towards a more digital framework.”
Participating in a discussion on ‘Scaling Up Mobile Interoperability to Deepen Financial Inclusion and Intra-African Trade,’ Eli Hini, CEO of MoMo PSB Limited Nigeria, highlighted the importance of involving Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in achieving interoperability across African countries.
He said ”Ease of participation is a crucial factor in the discussion of interoperability if we want to deepen financial inclusion and intra-Africa trade. If we are finally able to get the framework and structures that allow us to trade among ourselves, then we must take into consideration the ease of participation. SMEs, often grappling with challenges in cross-border trade, should be a focal point. It will be a waste of time to solve the issue of cross-border trade if SME’s cannot benefit from it. They must be well integrated into the system and given the access that they need to leverage the benefits of this agenda. We must be careful not to put up roadblocks that hinder their participation.”
MTN is inspired by Africa’s potential and remains committed to bridging the digital divide, furthering financial inclusion, and advancing the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through its core business activities and its support to governments, communities and customers.