MTN Uganda along with its parent company have been recognised as the most helpful brands during the pandemic.
The parent company came second after the World Health Organisation (WHO) whose core mandate is to support health causes around the world.
The survey conducted by Brand Africa 100 covered over 80% of the African continent in a bid to determine Africa’s Best brands 2021.
From the survey, MTN stood out for the support rendered during these challenging times.
In this unprecedented time chock-full of uncertainty, MTN did not waiver when it took the decision to immerse all its efforts in assisting governments around Africa to combat the coronavirus.
At group level, MTN worked with host nations to support the Africa COVID Communications and Information Platform and launched the #WearItForMe mask campaign. The month-long campaign which drove a powerful message throughout the group’s subsidiaries sought to encourage people to wear their masks.
Through its subsidiaries, MTN also dedicated support through numeorus initiatives and stakeholders through Y’ello hope, the MTN crisis response vehicle.
In a nearly half a billion shillings move, MTN Uganda which stood out in the East African region supported National Water and Sewerage Corporation to promote the handwashing campaign to mitigate the spread of the virus while Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS)was supported to extend aid to improvished communities.
URCS received Shs.297million for surveillance, screening, psychological support in the high risk areas and border points across the country.
Robert Kwesiga, Secretary General URCS congratulated MTN upon the recognition saying the award was well deserved as the telecom’s support was very pivotal during the pandemic.
“MTN was the the first partner to come in and support the Covid-19 response. When the country went into a lock down, many places were closed apart from markets and border points. MTN came in and supported us to implement and enforce SOPs in Kampala Markets. They donated 297,328,000/= towards the Uganda Redcross to support disease prevention and control,” Kwesiga said
He also added; “MTN also gave up their media airtime in support of a campaign dubbed "Support RedCross" and this mobilised over Shs21m towards food packages for vulnerable families in Kampala.”
MTN also provided Shs.220million to NWSC to provide relief to the masses of people living in water stressed parts in and around Kampala.
According to Engineer Mahmood Lutaaya, the general manager Kampala at NWSC, MTN helped NWSC to install 21 water points in places where people did not have water which is an essential during the pandemic.
“These were the informal settlements or slum areas. We put some in Wakiso, Nansana, and Kyaliwajjala among others. We identified places were people didn’t have water. The public water points came with tanks to ensure sustainability,” he said.
Sen Somdev, MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer, received the award on behalf Wim Vanhelleputte, the company’s Chief Executive Officer.
“We would like to thank BrandAfrica for recognizing us and the efforts towards mitigating spread of the virus throughout the pandemic. As MTN, we are of the philosophy that a business is not about accumulating profits rather improving the lives of people we serve. Together with government and other partners, considerable effort has been invested to ensure people do not lose loved ones and livelihoods,” he said adding that MTN is committed to supporting government during this fight against covid-19 while also encouraging adherence to the standards of operations (SoPs).
MTN last year gave unwavering support to Ministry of health, the government mandated body in charge of ensuring public health while mitigating the spread of the virus.
When resources were scanty in the midst of growing need for logistics and movement of members of the COVID-19 Task Force, MTN donated three brand new Nissan Hard Body pick-ups to the Office of the Prime Minister.
Open communication lines
Cognizant of the power of communication in achieving success in social behavioral change, MTN also opened up various communication lines between government and the public in an effort to preach the gospel of washing hands with soap and water.
MTN Uganda allocated media space worth shs316million to the ministry of Health to run the much needed COVID19 communication across different media.
In addition, a fully equipped call center to facilitate receiving and disseminating of educative information on behalf of ministry of health was set up at the MTN Head offices.
Furthermore, the telecom giant zero-rated the Ministry of health website to enable people get timely information without the need for data.
As it had done for ministry of health, MTN zero rated websites belonging to education institutions such as universities and institutions of higher learning such as Makerere University among others to allow students continue learning as well as access quick and constant dissemination of information on medical related concerns.
Reduced mobile money rates
MTN support also stretched out beyond government to the public. During lockdown when movement was limited, exchange of money turned electronic especially through mobile money as people could not move from one place to another freely.
Aware of the pressing economic situation occasioned by the virus, MTN cut mobile money transaction rates to enable people send and receive money at affordable rates.
In the same spirit, the telecom created subsidized internet bundles to allow people continue working from home without feeling the economic pinch.
It is because of such initiatives and more that MTN also scooped the award for the most admired brand from Brand Africa and most valuable and strongest South African brand for the 10th year running from Brand Finance.