MTN to launch young women innovative award program

Happy-Girl Buthelezi (Photo:
Happy-Girl Buthelezi (Photo:

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The renowned African mobile services operator, MTN Ethiopia, will launch prize awarding programs in partnership with Addis Ababa University (AAU) to promote and encourage young women’s inventions and business ideas.

Happy-Girl Buthelezi, MTN country manager for Ethiopia, told The Reporter that in most scenarios, young girls are being involved in the ICT sector way below what the boys already do. For that reason, MTN announced to award innovative and new business ideas for women here, Happy-Girl said.

The young and smart girls who can make it to the winning top level will have the chance to attend scholarships at the University of South Africa (UNISA) to attend business related courses. Companies like Samsung and others are likely to be engaged in the process to assist girls in the IT tools and hardware needs. Both MTN and AAU are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding sometime next week. (The signing ceremony was scheduled to take place on Thursday but was postponed upon the request of officials from the headquarters)

MTN Ethiopia, in its Value Added Services (VAS), the SMS texting infotainment, and agriculture and health related services are on the verge of kicking-off here. However, Happy-Girl, pointed out that MTN is considering the mobile money services too. But uncertain for the timing as to when and how it is going to be operational in Ethiopia.

Mazen Mroue, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Uganda, was here to attend the 11th Africa Innovation Digital Summit. He told The Reporter that in 2012 and 2013, his company had invested some USD 150 million in Uganda, where eight million people are subscribing to the MTN services. The IT vendor has secured more than 50 percent of Ugandan telecom market, with mobile banking being the most successful intervention for the company there. Currently, MTN operates in 22 countries, having 189 million subscribers across Africa and the Middle East.