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MTN concludes ‘constructive’ Washington DC meetings

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 06 May 2024
MTN Group CEO and president Ralph Mupita (left) and chairman Mcebisi Jonas (right) have concluded their US trip.
MTN Group CEO and president Ralph Mupita (left) and chairman Mcebisi Jonas (right) have concluded their US trip.

Mobile operator MTN’s leadership recently visited the US, where the team engaged with key stakeholders in Washington DC.

“MTN Group’s leadership was pleased to hold constructive engagements,” says the company in a statement. It notes the discussions focused on matters of mutual interest, including geopolitical developments around the world.

“We also discussed working through partnerships to drive and advocate for accelerated digital and financial inclusion across Africa so that no one is left behind,” the company adds.

MTN Group chairman Mcebisi Jonas as well as president and CEO Ralph Mupita met senior officials of the US Department of Commerce, US Department of State, World Bank, International Finance Corporation and International Monetary Fund.

The telecommunications company did not divulge specific details about the engagements.

MTN, which is Africa’s biggest mobile operator, does business in a diverse environment focused on Pan-Africa, with a presence in the Middle East.

The firm’s markets vary widely in terms of political stability and economic developments, which impact its business operations and financial performance.

In its integrated report for 2023, the mobile operator says the global geopolitical landscape in 2023 saw fraught international relations, including conflicts in Ukraine, Sudan, parts of West Africa and the Middle East.

It notes the geopolitical environment continues to be relatively uncertain, both at a global level and in some of the regions the company operates in.

“Political instability is a feature of several countries on our continent, with the recent coups in Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Guinea-Conakry, Mali, Niger and Sudan disrupting life and discouraging investment,” says Jonas in the report.

“Although MTN only operates in two of these markets, the rest of these countries are neighbouring MTN markets. We monitor developments closely and work to ensure our people and customers are safe and that our services are uninterrupted.”

In the year ahead, among the key items that will inform board deliberations are geopolitical developments and impacts, including those from elections taking place across the world and in some of MTN’s markets, Jonas adds.

“These will also inform our stakeholder engagements and partnerships with our nation-state hosts. Geopolitically, MTN’s operational context is influenced by conflicts such as the Russia-Ukraine war and Middle East tensions, which bear consequential risks for global diplomacy and commerce, potentially driving up energy prices and disrupting global supply chains.”