MTN Uganda has restored 50 hectares of forest cover in the Masaka-based Jubiya Central Forest Reserve, as the company rolls out its reforestation project that will see 220 hectares restored across the country.
The reforestation drive is part of MTN’s “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 Masaka reforestation activity follows a successful launch of the project at the Entebbe-based Kyewaga CFR last week 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.
While launching the Jubiya CFR restoration project in Masaka today, Joseph Bogera, the MTN General Manager for Sales and Distribution said that MTN Uganda has over the years established its roots in Uganda and that the reforestation project was purely a symbolism of the company deepening its roots in a country that has become home to the company that is preparing to list 20% of its shares on the Uganda Stock Exchange.
“Uganda has been and continues to be a good home to MTN. For this reason, we are honoured to further deepen our roots across the country as MTN gets listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange, a move that will enable Ugandans to also own a part of the biggest company in the country” Bogera said.
When the government of Uganda granted MTN a second operating license in 2020, part of the agreements was that MTN would list on the Uganda Securities Exchange by 2022.
“To MTN, this is a very welcome step because listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange means that Ugandans will also now share a part of the company with which they have had a good relationship spanning 22 years and counting,” added Bogera.
The Jubiya CFR reforestation drive was presided over by Buddu County Chief, Owekitibwa Jude Muleke as the guest of honour.
In his key note speech, Owek Muleke said MTN’s commitment to the development of Uganda builds a strong bond between the people of Uganda and in particular, the people of Masaka.
“Let us together thank MTN Uganda in partnership with NFA for coming up with such a wise initiative that calls us to mind to treat mother nature considering the needs for our generation and generations to come,” he said.
He warned against the negative effects of environmental degradation such as drought, heavy rainfalls and poor crop yields which affect the livelihood of people.
Mbalire Ssebugwawo, the Sango bay regional manager at NFA, who was representing the executive director lauded MTN for choosing forest restoration as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“The Uganda is home campaign comes at the right time when government has renewed commitment to ensure the country’s heritage through conservation. Our strategy is through involvement through partnerships with the private sector to restore the degraded landscape in the country,” he noted.
According to NFA, the decision by MTN to invest in forest restoration though a reforestation campaign is indicative of the value the telecom attaches to the environment.
Mr Ssebugwawo went on to urge other stakeholders especially those in the private sector to emulate MTN in an effort to conserve the environment.
To MTN, undertaking CSR initiatives, such as the 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 central, This year, as the Masaka Diocese led the Uganda Martyrs’ Day celebrations that were held at the Namugongo Catholic Shrine in Kampala under strict SOPs, MTN Uganda supported the Masaka Diocese with UGX 20 million to help the diocese in its preparations for the pertinent religious celebrations.
Still this year, MTN in partnership with Buganda Kingdom under BBS Terefayina, launched the revival of bicycle races in Buganda, popularly known as “Obugaali”. The competitions that are set to involve all the 18 counties of Buganda are slated to take place in Masaka at a later date when government SOPs permit masses to converge after the pandemic has been managed.
All the above initiatives, including the reforestation derive, 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.