At the tail end of last year, MTN group announced changes to the regional structure and the Group Executive Committee in which Ms. Yolanda Cuba was appointed as the MTN Group Vice President for the Southern and East African (SEA) MTN markets effective 1 January, 2020. This announcement coincided with yet another Woman rising to the position of Vice president; H.E Kamala Harris and similarly to her story of firsts, Yolanda Cuba is also the first woman to be confirmed in this position in MTN history!
Named one of the youngest CEOs of a JSE-listed company at the age of 29, Yolanda Cuba has gone on to become one of the Key business leaders in Africa today. As a young group CEO of the publicly listed Mvelaphanda Group, she was selected as one of the Young Global Leaders in 2008, an initiative by the World Economic Forum and named one of the ’20 Youngest Power Women in Africa’ by Forbes Magazine in 2011.
As the New SEA Vice President, Cuba brings to the role a formidable track record of over 20 years executive experience in telecommunications and finance that will see her steer the continued growth and strategic progress of the SEA region which is critical to MTN’s growth ambitions as it presents good opportunity for growth in mobile financial services as well as the largest potential for further expansion.
The SEA region covers the MTN markets in Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia.
Prior to this appointment, Cuba was the Chief Digital and Fintech Officer at the MTN Group. In her previous role, the prolific telecom expert was charged with leading MTN Group’s strategic expansion of its financial services and digital solutions efforts and transformation into a digital operator across its footprint of 21 countries in Africa and Middle East.
Before joining MTN in July 2019, Cuba worked with the Vodacom Group Limited from 2013 as a non-executive director. She later became an executive member of the company in November 2014 and served as its Group Chief Officer of Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions and New Business until her promotion to Chief Executive in the company.
The seasoned strategist led Vodacom’s mergers and acquisitions as well as its acceleration unit into telco adjacencies such as financial services among others. Subsequently, Cuba was in 2016, made the Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, a role she outstandingly performed resulting to her scooping the coveted title of Telecom CEO of the year in 2018. The other notable awards under Cuba’s belt include; the Top Empowered Business Woman of the Year by Top Companies in 2006 and the Youth Excellence award by the Black Management Forum in 2007.
Cuba also previously served as an Executive Director of Strategy and Business Support at the South African Breweries (SAB) Limited since February 2012. She also previously occupied the position of Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at New Bond Capital Ltd.
Cuba has served on a number of JSE-listed boards: She was a board member of South African Breweries Ltd; Absa Group Limited where she served for 12 years before resigning in 2019 and has been a member of the Nelson Mandela Investment Committee since 2006.
She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Statistics from the University of Cape Town, a Bachelor of Commerce Honors degree in Accounting from University of Kwazulu-Natal and a Masters of Commerce degree from the University of Pretoria. She is also an alumnus of INSEAD International Executive Program.
Cuba is passionate about education and inclusive social and financial development, has served on the Advisory Board of Stellenbosch University Business School and has founded Cuba Mtyi Foundation that focuses on empowering young Girls through Education.
- MTN launched the first ever data bundles with no validity date, dubbed the MTN Freedom Bundles in 2019.
- MTN has now upgraded its Freedom Bundles to include higher volume data packages to meet the needs of its heavy data consuming customers.
- Customers need to have a 4G enabled SIM card to enjoy the MTN Freedom Bundles. The bundles can only be bought using MTN MoMo on MyMTN app.
MTN Uganda has today unveiled bigger and better internet data bundles with no expiry date in a bid to serve its customers with higher volume data needs.
In a move to address issues of affordability and offer more value for money for its customers, MTN Uganda became the first telecom company to introduce data bundles with no expiry in 2019. Dubbed the ‘MTN Freedom Bundles’, the data bundles that last indefinitely with no validity date, were however limited to a specific volume allocation.
Despite the volume limitation, the MTN Freedom bundles were well received by the MTN Data customers, prompting MTN to take the offer a couple of notches higher, by introducing high volume data bundles that still come with the coveted feature of having no validity date.
Currently, MTN is the only telecommunications service provider in Uganda with the “no validity date bundles” that offer great value to the customers by allowing them to consume all the data they have subscribed for without expiry or their validity running out.
While launching the new high volume MTN Freedom Bundles, Sen Somdev, the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer said that MTN Uganda has decided to increase the Freedom Bundles’ volume following its customers’ demands, as a way of meeting their needs and giving them more value for their money.
“The idea of having bundles that will not expire for as long as they remain unused appealed to our customers and they asked us to increase the data volumes which we
have done. From now on, our customers can enjoy their data at their pace with no worries about it getting expired,” Somdev said, adding that: “This means that if you load MTN Freedom Bundles and you either travel or don’t use them immediately for one reason or another, you can rest assured that it will still be valid for you to use it until it runs out, thereby giving you real value for your money.”
To enjoy MTN Freedom Bundles, customers need to have a 4G enabled SIM card. Customers however do not need to have a 4G phone to purchase and enjoy these offers.
The offers will be purchased only using MTN MoMo via MyMTN App.
This proposition is in line with MTN’s vision of ‘leading the delivery of a bold, new digital world for our customers’ and testimony of MTN’s commitment to responding quickly to the ever-changing needs of customers and the industry.
MTN FREEDOM BUNDLES
|Bundle Volume||Price (UGX)||Activation mechanic|
|1GB||5,000||Exclusively available for purchase using MTN MoMo via MyMTN app.|
- MTN Foundation Uganda has selected 100 youths for its Youth Empowerment Program. A call for applications was put up at the end of last year and close to 2000 applicants took a shot at the exciting offer.
- The full list of winners is available here.
- The Program that will be conducted by Ubunifu systems, a software Development firm, will equip the selected youths with the technical skills to empower them to solve communities’ pressing challenges using technological expertise.
- The Five MTN #ForGood winners will be the pioneer beneficiaries of this intensive program that is a building block to Uganda’s Fourth Industrial revolution.
At the end of last year, the MTN Foundation Uganda launched an exciting training opportunity for the youth, dubbed the Youth Empowerment Program with the aim of offering technology training to at least 100 youths, in the various areas of their interest as the country embraces the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The MTN Foundation Youth Empowerment Program is aimed at designing and delivering practical knowledge, skills experience for youth and young adults in preparation for the 4th Industrial Revolution. All this comes at a backdrop of the Covid19 pandemic that has demonstrated the immense need of digitalized systems to keep businesses and communities afloat in times of catastrophic circumstances.
While announcing the winners of the Youth Empowerment Program today, Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer said that this is one of the many initiatives that MTN Uganda has put in place to enable the youth tap into the limitless possibilities of the Fourth industrial revolution to the benefit of both communities and businesses in the country.
“The overwhelming numbers of the applications that we received are a good indicator that the youth of this country are keen on Technology and are eager to become the very instruments of growth and development in their communities,” said Vanhelleputte.
Applications were called and within the 14-day application window, an impressive 1,993 applications were received for the thrilling offer. The applications comprised of: 1,741 unique applications, with 71.2% male applicants and 28.9% female applicants, a good indicator that the females are starting to take up their Space in the Technology space.
The application call appealed to youths of various academic qualifications ranging from the Masters’ level of education to even those with no academic qualifications but a keen interest in the field of technology and innovation. The applicants included a plethora of university graduates, innovators and those engaged in Small and Medium with a mission of inspiring and empowering them towards harnessing the practical application of innovative ICT solutions to solve their communities’ most pressing challenges. The bulk of the applications came in from Kampala, Wakiso, Mbarara, Lira, Gulu.
Out of the above applications, 100 applicants were carefully selected and they will be trained in their various fields of interest, with the aim of empowering them to harness the limitless possibilities of Technology to provide solutions to the challenges in their communities in their selected areas of interest. The full list of winners is available here. The program participants will be trained in the key thematic areas of: Agriculture, Education, Health, Technology and Youth Empowerment
The MTN Foundation Youth Empowerment Program will be implemented in partnership with Ubunifu systems, a software development firm based in Uganda. Ubunifu systems has cut its niche in professional mobile and web development with a focus on innovative, personalized and fully functional solutions that deliver value and satisfaction.
In his announcement, Vanhelleputte also noted that the five winners of last year’s MTN #ForGood campaign will be the first beneficiaries of the Youth Empowerment program. The five winners are; Douglas Smith, Joseph Semayengo, Julius Tusingwire, Tony Ayebare and Brian Mawere aka Maw Brian.
Since the youth are the majority in Uganda, with 77% of them aged below 25 years, they are a big and essential component in the country’s growth and development. It is against this background that the MTN Foundation chose to involve them to stimulate local innovation, which in turn will help them find gainful employment through community transforming innovations as we enter the new era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
MTN is committed to integrating the youth in its programs as envisaged by its past engagements with them. In 2019, MTN invited the youth to develop applications that use MTN MoMo APIs, to monetize both consumer and business opportunities digitally, a task many of them executed successfully.
MTN and Ericsson awarded MTN Mobile Money Open API challenge with cash a combined cash prize of USD$6,000 (approx. UGX22.06 million) and a trip to the Ericsson innovation Centre in Sweden, for the overall winner.
- The athlete has inked a one year sponsorship deal with the telecom giant
- As part of the sponsorship deal, shs100million will go towards his foundation that is working to develop and provide a platform for young and budding athletes.
- In addition, MTN also announces a performance package for the athlete if he wins an Olympic Gold, or any other medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. There is also a performance incentive for any other world records he breaks.
MTN Uganda has announced a generous one-year sponsorship deal for record breaking athlete Joshua Cheptegei.
Following several years of support to athletics in Uganda, Cheptegei becomes the first individual athlete to ink such a deal with the telecom giant.
As part of the sponsorship deal, the teIecom company also announced shs100million contribution that will go towards the Cheptegei Foundation, an organisation started by the athlete to develop young athletics talent in the country. The foundation is based in Kapchorwa.
In addition, MTN also announces a performance package for the athlete if he wins an Olympic Gold, or any other medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. There is also a performance incentive for any other world records he breaks.
Speaking at the press conference to announce the sponsorship package at the Mbale Resort Hotel today, MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Wim Vanhelleputte said that the telecom company could not hide its joy after its several years of investment in the sport started bearing fruit in such significant ways as Joshua’s recent exploits.
“We are very proud and honoured to announce this sponsorship deal for Joshua. At MTN, this is the next best thing we can do after several years of investment in developing athletics talent and sport in this country. Through the renowned MTN Kampala Marathon and other Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) programs, MTN has supported the sport for over 15 years. And it is paying off. What Joshua is doing for the country is awesome and deserves to be recognized especially by his country,” Vanhelleputte said.
“Last year, MTN rewarded Joshua with a big cheque when he broke the 5000 meters record. We promised him bigger things if he continued his winning streak. We also promised to get involved in his Foundation, to help build his legacy. So, here we are again, fulfilling our pledge to him. This, I know will inspire him to go further in his career. It will also inspire other athletes to aim higher. I call upon other companies to join us in this as we inspire a greater nation,” Vanhelleputte further said.
Since 2004, MTN, in partnership with the UAF has been a part of the development of Uganda’s athletics right from the grass roots; And, it is from this partnership, that the Federation is steadily growing Uganda’s reputation as a track and field athletics powerhouse.
Through the UAF programmes and the MTN Kampala Marathon, a lot of bright talent has been identified and gone on to shine at various world championships.
Joshua’s rise started way back in 2014 when he won the World Junior Championships in Eugene United States. He became the African Junior Champion the following year, in Ethiopia. He thereafter had some quiet years before bursting onto the international stage in a powerful way, when he won in the 5000m and 10000m races at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. Joshua’s star continued to rise in 2019 when he clinched gold at the World Cross Country Championships and World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark and Doha, Qatar respectively.
In sport, 2020 will be remembered among other things as the year, Cheptegei went on to break records starting with his exploits at the Monaco Diamond League meet, where he set a new 5000 metres world record of 12:35.36, breaking Kenenisa Bekele’s 16 year-old world record of 12:37.35. Later the same year, he also set a new 10000 meters world record time 26:11.00 at the NN Valencia World Record Day in Valencia, Spain breaking the previous world record of 26:17.53 that had been set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2005. On the 14th Feb 2021, Joshua retained his Monaco Run title to mark a perfect start to his 2021.
Apart from Cheptegei, Uganda boasts of other remarkable champions like Halima Nakaayi – the 2019 World Athletics Championships 800m Gold Medalist, Jacob Kiplimo – the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Junior champion, 2012 Olympic Marathon champion and 2013 World Championships gold medallist Stephen Kiprotich and Dorcus Inzikuru, one of the pioneer participants at the maiden MTN Marathon in 2004, who won the inaugural 3000m women’s steeplechase world title, as well as the first Commonwealth title in the event and many others.
“We are inspired by the results we are seeing in the sport and so reiterate our commitment to continue supporting activities of the UAF and to restore the MTN marathon as soon as we overcome this COVID pandemic and the restrictions it has had on some of these sporting activities,” Vanhelleputte said.
MTN Uganda is a fervent supporter of Uganda sports and has over the years supported various disciplines including athletics, football, basketball, golf, and many others both at national and club levels.
- The MTN Uganda Foundation, together with Fenix International Uganda as an implementing partner are set to light up other 56 schools with 200 kits in 24 districts under their “Light up A Village Project”.
- Under this project, the MTN Foundation has donated an overall total of 560 solar kits worth 380 million. Fenix International Uganda will install and maintain the kits.
- Acute power shortages even when connected to the national grid is the biggest challenge that students face especially when they have to study at night.
The MTN Uganda Foundation in partnership with Fenix International Uganda are set to light up more schools in an ongoing project dubbed “Light up a village”. With an extra donation of 190 solar kits, 56 schools from 24 districts will have light and power to facilitate proper learning outcomes by increasing reading time, secure learning environment especially in the night as well as supporting teachers’ preparation for lessons.
The Light up A Village project has so far donated over 560 solar kits across several schools in various districts in Uganda. Health centers and settlement camps have also benefitted from the same project.
Implemented in partnership with Fenix International Uganda, a next-generation energy and technology company whose mission is to improve the quality of life of customers through inclusive energy, the project is in partial fulfilment of MTN’s vision of brightening lives across all the communities within which it operates.
Speaking at the handover of the kits today, The MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer noted that: “With the availability of solar power, students can now have extended learning times and teachers can put in more preparation time which will at least try to level the ground with learners and teachers in urban areas that have easy access,” Vanhelleputte said.
He further noted that by providing solar lighting, It will provide a safe learning environment for the learners and hopefully this will encourage enrollment.
The project worth 380 million kicked off in late 2019 and has so far seen installations of solar equipment in off-grid regions like Buvuma Island where schools and health centers were lit up to improve education and health care services in the area. Still in 2019, the MTN Foundation donated and installed 100 solar kits in the Bunambutye resettlement camp in Bulambuli district while another batch of solar kits were donated to several schools in Kamuli district.
Other districts that have benefitted from this project include; Apac, Pader, Adjumani, Lira, Nwoya, Yumbe in Northern Uganda, Kanungu, Kabale, Sheema, Rukungiri, Kiruhura, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Kibale, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kyotera, Rakai, Luwero, Masaka as well as Bududa, Bugweri, Bukwo and Iganga.
As several learners and teachers are looking forward to having schools reopen, the acute power shortages despite being connected to the national grid is still one of the biggest challenges most schools face countrywide. This has affected performance of school children since revision time is hampered each time there is no electricity. Therefore by providing solar lighting, learners can be able to read for longer as they recover the study time they lost in the previous year 2020. Over 45,000 learners will benefit from this project.
The MTN Foundation has undertaken to support a number of government initiatives in the education sector. MTN Foundation has been building and rehabilitating schools in various parts of Uganda in partnership with PEAS. MTN Foundation has also been extending ICT skills to learning institutions through setting up fully functional ICT laboratories. The Telecom has also extended computer literacy to rural schools through MTN ICT bus. The bus is fully equipped with ICT facilities with which the children and given basic ICT training.
- MTN to continue supporting Onduparaka Football Club for another year
- MTN has sponsored the team since 2017/18 season
- MTN are proud supporters of local sport in the country for the last 22 years.
MTN Uganda has today announced the renewal of its sponsorship contract with Onduparaka Football Club. At the contract renewal ceremony, the club unveiled their 2020/2021 season jersey.
MTN has sponsored the West Nile based club since the 2017/18 season and will continue the sponsorship another year.
While announcing the sponsorship renewal in a press conference held at Hotel Africana in Kampala today, Somdev Sen, the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer highlighted MTN’s ambitions to continue supporting local sports in the country.
“As the biggest supporter of local sport in Uganda, MTN has over the last 22 years, committed to the growth and development of local football in Uganda. This continued sponsorship of Onduparaka FC further demonstrates MTN’s commitment to be involved and support the passions of the people in the communities where we operate,” said Sen.
Speaking at the contract renewal ceremony, Vialli Bainomugisha, The Onduparaka FC Head Coach thanked MTN for its continued support over the last years, noting that the team continues in its journey of growth, in large part, due to the support from the telecom company.
“We are happy and grateful for the support that MTN has extended towards Onduparaka FC as our official sponsor. We are thrilled that our sponsors still believe in us,” Bainomugisha said.
Onduparaka FC is the most popular Football Club in West Nile. The club’s rise to the top-flight of Uganda’s super league is a source of pride for the region and has inspired young boys in the area to take up the sport.
MTN together with Onduparaka will execute several activities throughout the season to keep fans engaged in the performance of the club.
MTN Uganda is the official broadcast partner of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) on Sanyuka TV, supporting the reach of Ugandan Football in more homes and audiences across the country.