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MTN’s female CEOs celebrate first year in office

Africa , 04 Oct 2023
Mapula Bodibe, MTN Rwanda CEO.
Mapula Bodibe, MTN Rwanda CEO.

It’s been over a year since MTN Group deployed three women as CEOs, to run its operations in Cameroon, Rwanda and Uganda

Mapula Bodibe was assigned to head MTN Rwanda, Sylvia Mulinge to lead MTN Uganda, and Mitwa Ng'ambi to oversee MTN Cameroon.

The appointments took effect in September of last year, and MTN stated, at the time, that the step ensures that Africa's largest telecoms provider actively supports gender diversity in its workforce.

MTN Group’s employee diversity ratio shows 39% are women, and the group has pledged to achieve a gender-equal workforce by 2030.

As the three CEOs mark the year passed, ITWeb Africa examines some of the milestones that have been reached in their respective markets.

Bodibe (Rwanda) and Mulinge (Uganda) have managed to maintain dominance in their respective East African markets, consolidated returns in the current reporting period, and nudging green on key indicators.

MTN Rwanda and MTN Uganda had good results, bolstering their market positions in their respective countries.

Growth was broad across all indicators, including subscriber numbers and profitability level.

In Rwanda, MTN's mobile customers increased by 6.0% year-on-year (YoY) to seven million, active data users increased by 5.1% YoY to 2.3 million, and mobile money (MoMo) subscribers increased by 14.4% YoY to 4.4 million.

MTN Rwanda's financial results were similarly strong, with service revenue increasing 14.7% to Rwf 120.5 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increasing 4.8% to Rwf.

Bodibe was essential in propelling MTN, which joined its counterpart Airtel in building out 4G LTE networks in the East African nation.

MTN Rwanda's rollout of its own 4G network, and Bodibe promised to provide growth with more efficiencies and improved service quality.

Under Mulinge’s leadership in Uganda, MTN's mobile customers increased by 11.2% to 18.1 million in the current reporting period, active data subscribers jumped by 21.4% to 6.9 million, and active fintech subscribers increased by 11.6% to 10.9 million.

MTN Uganda's data revenue increased by 22.1% to Ush 290.2 billion in the first six months, while fintech revenue increased by 18.6% to Ush 358.3 billion.

Service revenue increased by 15.0% to Ush 1,250 billion, while EBITDA increased by 16.8% to Ush 641.0 billion, profit after tax increased by 17.8% to Ush 228.0 billion, and interim dividend increased by 19.0%.

Under Mulinge’s leadership, MTN made history in Uganda, in July, by launching the country's first 5G network.

In Cameroon, of the three featured CEOs, Ng'ambi undoubtedly had the most difficult year. Operating company turnover increased 9.2% YoY during the first half of 2023, despite soaring inflation (nearing 8% in May 2023). 

It also comes against the backdrop of a legal dispute with politically linked millionaire Baba Ahmadou Danpullo.

The matter is based on a garnishee order, served on MTN bankers at the request of Ahmadou Baba Danpullo, a business mogul with significant government ties, who is embroiled in a dispute with a South African bank. 

Nonetheless, according to MTN Cameroon, the operator has a market share of 51.6% in the country’s telecoms sector.

In this climate, the operating company recorded a CFAF56.8 billion total operating profit, up 12.4% YoY. MTN Cameroon's profit in the first half of 2023 was the highest of any of its subsidiaries in Francophone West and Central Africa.

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