State Owned Enterprise Zamtel has reiterated its commitment to accelerating Zambia’s attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) through improved mobile connectivity.
Speaking on the sidelines of the on-going Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Zamtel Chief Executive Officer Mr. Sydney Mupeta said the gathering was essential for opening up collaboration opportunities between mobile network operators, global development organizations and others in order to accelerate digital transformation.
The Zamtel team is part of the Zambian delegation in Spain led by the Transport and Communications Minister, Honourable Brian Mushimba attending the Mobile World Congress from Monday, February 26 to Thursday, 1st March 2018.
Organized by the GSMA, a trade organization representing mobile network operators, the Mobile World Congress has grown from an industry event for telecom companies to a massive technology conference becoming a must attend event for individuals working at the centre of emerging technology and global development.
This year, the agenda at the Mobile World Congress includes special focus on the Sustainable Development Goals aimed at raising awareness on how increased connectivity could underpin attainment of SDGs.
Mr. Mupeta stated that the Mobile World Congress was important as it brings the global telecom industry together with other development oriented organizations to synergise and scale up innovations needed to tackle global issues.
“As Zamtel, we believe our business can have the greatest impact on a number of the UN SDGs through our network, products and services as well as our Corporate Social Responsibility programmes,” he said.
Mr. Mupeta said Zamtel’s continued investment in network expansion is providing affordable services across the country to a vast proportion of the Zambian population, adding that access to innovative services including mobile money can help to deliver empowerment and economic inclusion for all.
According to the 2017 Mobile Industry Impact Report: Sustainable Development Goals, “Mobile operators around the world including Zambia are working to deploy mobile-enabled solutions that drive greater inclusion in cities and remote communities, enable access to essential services such as health and education, create employment opportunities and empower people with the tools to reduce poverty and inequality.”
“At Zamtel, I am proud of the strong growth we are posting but we must continue to amplify and accelerate our collective efforts as a State Owned Enterprise in the attainment of SDGs. We have continued to invest heavily in expanding the network and improving quality of service. As at February, 60 news sites were installed as part of the US$280 million investment in the Zamtel network. All these investments mean broader coverage, improved network quality and increased network resilience,” Mr. Mupeta said.
Mr. Mupeta said with greater connectivity, Zamtel is driving improvements in economic growth through improved productivity, infrastructure development and business efficiency and financial inclusion especially among women and youths as a direct response to SDG number 10, which focuses on reduced inequalities.
“With the emergence of technologies such as social media, Zambians need to find ways to adapt to these new technologies and find efficient use for them so that they work for us rather than against us. Zamtel is ready to lead in this direction,” he said.
“Through our recently launched “Ubuntu” Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, we are also supporting SDG 17 on Partnerships for the Goals as we seek to contribute positively to the community.”