After a tour of the staff offices at a South Sudan top 2 school, in the capital, Juba, Gabriel Setlhoke shakes his head in apparent horror.
“When I went to the head teacher’s office, I nearly went down on my knees after seeing the terrible conditions within which he works,” Setlhoke, the South African Ambassador to South Sudan, said, as MTN South Sudan donated an internet-connected computer lab, the second in a public elementary school, as part of the Group’s flagship volunteer event, 21 Days of Y’ello Care.
Setlhoke said South African firms operating within the country ought to use the 67 Minutes for Mandela — one minute for every year of Mandela’s jail term — to improve the infrastructure in South Sudan’s schools.
“MTN and our companies must use that 67 minutes. I think they can do something to help. I have been talking to the minister of Education, Dr. John Gai Yoh, since the time when he was the representative of the SPLM to South Africa, to find ways and projects that can improve the conditions of learning.”
Under this year’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care, staff will also hold a Digital Expo at Juba University to disseminate knowledge on ICT, engage with girls and tutors in institutions of higher learning and with women in business, and donate modems and computers to participating institutions.
“This year’s Y’ello Care is in line with our vision of fostering ICT through education,” Philip Besiimire, Chief Executive of MTN South Sudan, said. “We believe the young will embrace this technology, which comes with the knowledge economy.”
In South Sudan, this year’s initiative follows an aggressive expansion of network coverage and capacity that saw MTN rollout 76 new sites, built by ZTE, and become the largest and fastest 3.75G data network in the country with crystal-clear voice calls and superfast Internet browsing speeds.