Closer to home, MTN 's 15 Foundations across
We have invested significantly in advanced communications networks to connect our nearly 200 million customers. Since 2008, over
Such investments allow customers to be part of a global community, connect to the world and access m-health, m-agriculture and m-commerce services, which in turn are helping to close the digital divide and make a positive socio-economic impact.
It is exactly this kind of commitment from all role players in each sector, towards infrastructure development, which ispropelling the developing world forward!
The current media interest in MTN's operations in
Our critics ignore the fact that every telecommunications operator in the world today exists by virtue of terms and conditions of mobile licences granted by telecommunication regulators. These terms and conditions provide for the ability of governments to request information from the licence holder.
MTN, like all telecommunications companies, being subject to the terms of our licences and local legislation and regulatory conditions, assesses the legality and appropriateness of such requests to determine if it should comply, and the implications of non-compliance, before responding.
In other words, while our stakeholders can demand that we implement solutions to the risks posed by the use of ICT services and restrict or withdraw our services in some instances, they can at the same time demand that we also extend access to telecommunication services.
Failure to comply with either demand has implications for our licence to trade, thus undermining our reason for existence - to deliver a bold new digital world to our customers. Understandably, satisfying the often diametrically-opposed demands and requirements of a range of stakeholders is a daily challenge.
One of our core values is to respect the human rights, including privacy, of the people in all the markets in which we operate. We oppose the abuse of such rights by any party, including governments.
Indeed we acknowledge that we will from time to time experience challenges, given that we operate across diverse geographical, political, legislative, regulatory, cultural and social contexts. Yet our intention is to always conduct our business responsibly, ethically and legally, ensuring that in all instances, we act to the best of our ability.
The relationship between telecommunications and human rights is not just a developing world phenomenon, nor is it confined to the so-called pariah states. As we speak today, this issue is exercising the minds of diplomats, human rights activists and technology service providers in the EU zone,
The issue of human rights in the context of telecommunications is an emotive one, as it should be, and how it is dealt by each country provides an indication of the extent to which citizens enjoy their civil liberties.
It is our considered view that mobile networks have been a key catalyst in the exercise of these rights, and that the dividend of mobile telecommunications has contributed significantly to freeing millions of people from hardship and economic isolation.
Spare a thought for the telecoms industry as we continually look at ways to make a lasting impact on the lives of our customers and communities.
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