MTN Rwanda’s Significant Milestones Demonstrating Technological Progression

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MTN Rwanda’s Significant Milestones Demonstrating Technological Progression
Credit: © Reuters.

MTN (JO: MTNJ ), is the largest telecommunications company present in Rwanda today. The company has an estimated 7 million subscribers accounting for 62% of the market share, as of July 2023.

The network was first established in the nation in 1998, it now connects millions across the African continent.

To celebrate 25 years since its inception, the company planted 25,000 trees in Nyarugenge District in October 2023, as part of the MTN Group’s ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

MTN Rwanda’s Significant Milestones

In May 2021, shares of stock in the company were listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange. This elevated the company to a position of being the first mobile network operator in the history of the country to be listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE).

This status apportioned a direct 20% stake in MTN Rwanda to Crystal Telecom Limited’s shareholders, allowing them to trade their share directly on the RSE. This was indeed a significant milestone, given the country’s tragic history.

In October 2023, the company launched their first-ever live 5G network technology in the country, at the opening of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Africa in Kigali – putting the country on the map as a leading African country in its approach towards technological progress.

In 2021, the company partnered with Flutterwave, allowing businesses integrating the service to receive payments via Mobile Money (MoMo). At the end of June 2021, this partnership contributed towards the accruing of 48.9 million users and 581,514 merchants, in Rwanda and other African countries.

The partnership contributed positively to the improvement of the economy and livelihoods in response to the trend of an explosion in mobile penetration in Africa with the rise of smartphone adoption.

Speaking at the Gala event that was hosted to celebrate the significant achievement of 25 years of success, MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita thanked the government and the people of Rwanda for their support: “MTN Rwanda’s journey reflects our commitment to connecting Rwandans, and we thank all our stakeholders for travelling this path with us”, he added, “An enabling environment is one of the key requirements for MTN’s work to extend digital and financial inclusion across the continent, which aims to give Africans hope, dignity and opportunity.”

The power of Connectivity for an Technologically Evolving African Nation

Research conducted by the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC) found that in the last 20 to 30 years, Kigali had experienced a significant demographic and spatial growth. This was driven by internal migration and natural population increases.

Further analysis shows that Rwanda is urbanising at an unprecedented speed. In 1978, Rwanda’s urban population was 4.6% and in 2012, it rose to 16.5%. By 2024, it is estimated to reach a high of 35%. Rwanda’s urban annual growth rate far exceeds the worldwide average of 1.8%.

This indicates that to meet the rising demands of urbanisation, Kigali may need to move towards building smart-cities – making MTN’s role crucial in this transition.

This is only one of the many possibilities in store for Africa with the presence of strong mobile network operators like MTN.

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