MTN, leader in the telecommunications sector in Cameroon is pleased to announce the signing, on 02 June 2022 in Yaounde, of a Collaboration Framework Agreement with the Rural Electrification Agency (AER) to supply its rural sites with solar energy.

The document was initialed by Mr. Moussa Ousmanou, General Manager of AER and Stephen Blewett, CEO of MTN Cameroon, in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of Water and Energy.

This Framework Agreement specifies the terms and conditions under which AER provides MTN Cameroon with energy produced by its solar power plants. The energy is intended to power MTN Cameroon’s network infrastructure in rural areas, particularly the relay stations.

The implementation of this agreement is already ongoing at pilot sites in the West and Littoral regions. This deployment shall be extended to all 10 regions of the country in the coming months and will accelerate MTN Cameroon’s ESG strategy, of which reducing carbon footprint is one of the main objectives.

“Cameroon plans to increase its renewable energy capacity to at least 25% the total production by 2030. This agreement with MTN Cameroon provides us with more resources to achieve this goal and enables us to engage with economic stakeholders who are still hesitating. Because the protection of our environment is more than urgent by using clean energies rather than fossil sources whose harmfulness needs not to be overemphasized. This is an emergency which our partner, MTN Cameroon has understood and incorporated in its development strategy,” said the General Manager of AER.

By entering into this partnership with AER, MTN Cameroon is contributing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals while setting conditions conducive to the growth of communities in compliance with the company’s ESG commitments.

“Under the Project Zero, MTN seeks to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030. This partnership with AER puts us on the right path to preserve our environment. It is also an opportunity to reduce certain inequalities. People living in rural areas, often excluded from the benefits of modernity, will have access to all telephony, high speed internet and Mobile Money services”, explained Stephen Blewett. “We are going far beyond business by building a sustainable environment for our society at large”, he concluded.

The network of professionals in the field of communications (COM-PMA) held its annual meeting from 26 to 28 May 2022 in Kribi. The deliberations  centered on the theme: “Attractiveness of Regional and Local Authorities: the challenges of local communications”.

An opportunity seized by MTN Cameroon to invite communication professionals to draw inspiration from certain practices of institutional communication to better sell the attractiveness of villages, cities and regions they are responsible for.

In this regard, MTN’s representative, in his presentation, emphasized the Sustainable Development Goals or Environmental, Societal and Governance (ESG) criteria as an avenue to follow.

“The regional and local authority is certainly a geographical area, but above all, is the meeting point of several stakeholders. These stakeholders are the priority of the actions to be taken. Communicators must keep this critical detail in mind when they are called upon to advise cities, develop and execute communications strategies for communities,” explains Edouard Tamba of MTN Cameroon’s institutional communications team.

In the case of MTN, the ESG approach is appropriate. It provides the company with a framework that guides its choices by taking into account the priorities of its stakeholders. On inclusion and diversity, for example, the company is aiming for a 50/50 ratio of men to women in its workforce by 2030.

To help alleviate poverty, MTN is deploying its infrastructure on rural communities, providing free access to several communication services to the poorest and accelerating financial inclusion with its MoMo service.

Another critical area is carbon footprint. MTN is committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 47% by 2030 and attaining  zero emissions by 2040. In Cameroon, for example, the deployment of solar-powered network infrastructure is one of the ways to achieve these goals.

“Communicators can encourage city councils to adopt this type of indicator to show the relevance of their strategic choices and then make their actions more visible to stakeholders,” recommends Edouard Tamba, taking the example of the city of Johannesburg in South Africa.

The series of questions and answers enabled MTN’s representative to further illustrate his point. It should be noted that in addition to this presentation, MTNC supported the organization of this forum in terms of logistics to make the event more visible.