MTN restores 50 hectares of forest cover in Kibaale district

MTN Uganda, has today, further rolled out its reforestation project to Enjeva CFR in Arua where 50 hectares of forest cover have been restored as the company continues to deepen its roots in Uganda ahead of its anticipated listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) that will see Ugandans own 20% of MTN’s shares.

Kagombe CFR in Kibaale district is the fourth CFR to be supported by MTN under its “Uganda is Home” campaign that symbolises MTN’s deepening of its roots in Uganda, a country that has been home to the company since 1998. The campaign is a precursor to MTN Uganda’s listing of 20% of its shares on the Uganda Stock Exchange, an opportunity for Ugandans to own a part of the company.

The Kibaale reforestation activity follows successful reforestation executions in Enjeva CFR in Arua and Jubiya CFR in Masaka where MTN restored 50 hectares of forest cover in each of the two CFRs. The project was successfully launched at the Entebbe-based Kyewaga CFR last month where 20 hectares of forest cover was restored by MTN.

The MTN reforestation project that is being undertaken in partnership with the National Forestry Authority (NFA) is but one of the many Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that the company has undertaken over the years to strengthen its relationship with a country that it calls home.

The Kagombe CFR restoration project in Kibaale was launched by Nicholas Beijuka, the MTN Uganda General Manager, Capital Projects and Rt. Hon Andrew K. Byakutaga, the Prime Minister of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom who represented the Omukama of Bunyoro, as the Chief Guest of the reforestation ceremony.

Rt. Hon Andrew K. Byakutaga, the Prime Minister of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom plants a tree in Kagombe CFR in Kibaale during the launch of MTN’s Uganda is home campaign in Kibaale.

Beijuka mentioned to the fact that MTN Uganda has over the years established its roots in Uganda and that the reforestation project was purely a symbolism of MTN further deepening its roots in a country that has become home to the company that is currently preparing to list 20% of its shares on the Uganda Stock Exchange.

“We look forward to having Ugandans take part ownership of MTN Uganda once it lists part of its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange. That will indeed make Uganda a permanent home to MTN and it shall further strengthen the bond between Ugandans and the company that they love so much,” Beijuka said.

Beijuka further added that MTN and Uganda have had a good relationship spanning 22 years and counting, as such the company looks forward to a long and lasting partnership with Uganda as it starts a new dawn as a listed company in Uganda, soon.

“It is against this background that we launched the MTN ‘Uganda is Home’ campaign as we embark on this exciting journey of becoming a publicly listed company. That is also why we chose to symbolically demonstrate MTN’s deepening of its roots in the country through restoring 220 hectares of forest cover across the country as our sign of commitment to the people of Uganda,” Beijuka said.

In his keynote speech, Byakutaga said that MTN has been and still remains a steadfast partner to the Kingdom.

“On behalf of the Omukama of Bunyoro, I thank MTN for the tremendous work they have done not just Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom but across the country. MTN is a true definition of a corporate citizen and indeed worthy of calling Uganda its home,” Byakutaga said.

Byakutaga noted that MTN has over the years generously supported the Kingdom’s functions, including the Empango celebrations as well as supporting health and education facilities in Bunyoro. In 2019, MTN contributed UGX20Million towards the Empango celebrations in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.

“We are indeed honoured that after all the support you have given us, you have still come back to help us preserve the beautiful land of Bunyoro by restoring 50 hectares of our depleted forest cover. I can’t thank MTN enough for this kind and highly meaningful gesture,” Byakutaga said.

NFA observes that the decision by MTN to engage in a reforestation campaign is indicative of the value the telecom attaches to both the environment and the people of Uganda. MTN’s project remains the biggest CSR reforestation project by a single company according to NFA.

To MTN, undertaking CSR initiatives, such as this reforestation drive, is a commitment by the company to play its part in the development of its home, Uganda, as envisaged by MTN’s business model that suggests that businesses can only thrive when the communities within which they operate are thriving.

To this effect, MTN has over the years engaged in multiple CSR initiatives in the areas of education, health, sports, music and arts among others as a way of supporting communities to thrive in order to create a win-win situation for both the business as well as the citizens of Uganda through its corporate social responsibility arm, the MTN Foundation.

In 2019. MTN Uganda renovated and reequipped the maternity ward, theatre and family planning unit at Kigorobya Health Center 3 in Hoima to boost government’s efforts in improving maternal health. The telecom equipped the facility with hospital beds, mattresses and linens in addition to running water, solar lighting and a sanitary placenta pit to champion safe delivery for mothers in the region.

In the same year, MTN Foundation in partnership with Belgian NGO, Enable, established and furnished an ultra-modern ICT lab at St. Simon Peter Vocational Training Institute in Hoima. This was executed under a project aimed at equipping vocational trainees with the requisite ICT skills for the 21stcentury job market.

The above initiatives, including the reforestation drive, demonstrate MTN’s long-term commitment as a responsible corporate citizen in Uganda over the years.

The “Uganda is Home” campaign comes shortly after MTN Uganda hit a milestone of 15 million subscribers, further deepening its roots in the country as the leading telecom company of choice.

MTN is committed to investing further to serve its ever-growing customer base diligently and to supporting the government’s efforts towards the socio-economic development of the Uganda.

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