By NDUMBE BELL GASTON
A press conference to celebrate MTN Cameroon’s 20-year voyage in Cameroon ended last February 14 in Douala. The corporate communications Manager, Njiti Bongang, introducing the brief agenda of the historic event in the midst of a massive attendance of participants, said it was the spur of the moment to know their achievements in this great journey and of course, the way forward, among others.
MTN Cameroon “has particularly contributed to making mobile telephony a growth engine and development tool for Cameroon”, an observer notes. After taking over from CAMTEL Mobile, the leader of the electronic communications sector was launched on February 15,2000 with a subscription of just 5 000 after the privatisation exercise.
Currently, according to the CEO, Hendrick Kasteel, the number of subscribers has spiked to 10 million, with 2 million of such within two years. “The new company was set up with the mission of offering Cameroonians simple, innovative and accessible solutions to meet their communications needs. Networks improved from 2G, 3G, and today at 4G covering 96% of the population in rural and urban communities. The technical boost covers 7400 localities across the country.”
The CEO and other officials continued that the presence of MTN Cameroon has created 1000 direct jobs and an additional 20 service centres handling over 77 000 active retailers. 200 000 more jobs have indirectly been created.
The CEO who disclosed that he was leaving Cameroon for good regretted the separation with very exceptional collaborators since his arrival in August 2018, to realise these achievements.
On MTN Cameroon’s 20-year relationship with government and the economy, The SUN learnt that significant resources have swollen the state coffers. From the year 2000 to 2019, MTN says they invested nearly FCFA 1000 billion which surpasses that of many other private concerns. Taxes and royalties reached F CFA 226 billion.
When asked on their other aspects of cultural, social life and sports, speaker after speaker listed their contributions in sports through earlier sponsorship of the national football league and that they will not be part of sponsoring the upcoming events but that they will contribute in other ways to improve viewing.
The company’s foundation through their 21-days of Y’ello Care, has invested heavily in education by constructing more classrooms, adding facilities such multimedia centres and renovating infrastructures including those of health, environment and access to portable water. MTN Cameroon has also engaged in students and graduate internships where a total of 200 of them are expected to benefit from MTN services, gain experience to prepare them for employment opportunities. MTN Cameroon is said to have also trained 2000 APME entrepreneurs in 2018 while 3000 more will be added by June this year.
“We are not the ones who say we are number one in Cameroon, but we are being told by reputed international organisations, after studies” explained the CEO Hendrick Kasteel, who continued that “When we use the slogan “Good Together” it is in recognition of the role our subscribers, the media, our team, partners and other collaborators have played to enable us to achieve success with which it should have been impossible, so we thank you all.”
In a chat with the Marketing Director of MTN Cameroon, Atougbre Patrick, he stated that “Our mission is to make the life of Cameroonians a lot brighter. We have been the first in introducing 2G to 4G making us the fastest network. We have been the first in introducing all mobile money services. So, in the years ahead, we have to innovate to seek solutions to make life a lot brighter.”