MTN & University Of Cape Town Make A $13 Million Partnership To Accelerate Innovations In Africa

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MTN South Africa and the University Of Cape Town Graduate School Of Business (UCT GSB) are looking at making it big on sustainable innovation in Africa.

The collabo will combine action learning and research strength of the GSB with MTN’s technological expertise to help create mobile apps and educational, medical and economic empowerment programmes and promote entrepreneurship and small business growth.

“Each partner has complementary expertise and skills, so together, their impact on African innovation will be greater and the solutions emerging as a result of their collaboration will reach further,” said Professor Walter Baets.

Sarah-Anne Arnold, manager of the MTN Solution Space said the partnership represents a symbiotic and purposeful venture into the future. “MTN already has an extensive footprint in Africa and the GSB has a strong representation of African students at the business school, combined with a reputation for research and academic excellence. So we are combining our strengths for a common purpose – finding solutions to the biggest challenges facing our continent.”

The telco company already has a reputation of helping start-ups gain a foothold in the business world. Take an example like Francois Petousis who founded Lumkani, a proactive, early-warning fire detection system designed for shack dwellers. The concept won the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) and scooped second place in two separate categories at South Africa’s innovation summit.