Lagos - Nigeria's biggest mobile network operator invited millions of its local subscribers to help raise funds for an initiative aimed to curb Ebola.
The MTN Group, whose Nigeria entity is the biggest, invited its over 219 million customers across Africa and the Middle East to join hands with the company in the three-month campaign, starting December, to raise funds for the “United Against Ebola” initiative.
MTN Nigeria has more than 58 million subscribers.
In response to an appeal from the African Union (AU), MTN and other leading companies in Africa committed logistical support and in kind contributions as part of the first wave of pledges at a recent Africa Business Roundtable hosted by the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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The companies also agreed to leverage their resources and capacity to help galvanise citizen action around a “United Against Ebola” campaign, and to provide individuals across Africa and globally with an opportunity to contribute.
As part of its pledge, MTN has committed US$10 million and is now inviting customers to participate in an SMS campaign to donate a minimum of US$1.
MTN is also working with some of Africa’s most celebrated musicians to produce an inspirational song for digital download on its MTN Play store.
All proceeds from sales, post publishing rights and subscription payments, will be donated to the AU campaign.
MTN has been an integral part of efforts to tackle the spread of Ebola in countries where the company operates, with special emphasis on Guinea-Conakry and Liberia.
“MTN is supporting this campaign to give further impetus to concerted efforts aimed at combating the Ebola epidemic and saving lives. As MTN, we believe the only way to start reversing the devastating effects of the outbreak is to come together to tackle the spread of the disease, and ease the suffering it continues to inflict on families and communities,” says Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group President and CEO.
In affected countries where it operates, such as Guinea Conakry and Liberia, MTN is working closely with authorities to curb the spread of the disease.
It has set up a number of interventions to assist staff, their families and communities.
Some of the measures include distributing information about the disease, its transmission and preventative measures.
Working with agencies, it has set up a website where staff can access up-to-date information on the disease and its management.