A multi-million rand partnership to boost sustainable innovation in Africa has been formed between the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) and South Africa-based multinational mobile telecommunications company, MTN. The MTN group and the UCT GSB have recently announced a major partnership to accelerate sustainable innovation in the continent. MTN will invest R15 million over the next three years in the MTN Solution Space, which is an innovation hub at the UCT GSB.
This new partnership aims to put together the action learning and research strengths of the GSB with MTN’s technological expertise and resources, to help create mobile apps that society needs whilst promoting entrepreneurship and small business growth. This collaboration is built on a solid foundation of shared values of integrity, leadership, learning and a commitment to innovation.
The Director of the UCT GSB, Professor Walter Baets, expressed how pleased they were that MTN had decided to make such a commitment. He added that both partners have complementary expertise and skills, meaning that their influence on African innovation will be greater and the solutions emerging as a result of their partnership will have a great impact on the continent.
He was also proud of the fact that this is an investment in problem solving for Africa, by Africans, in Africa and emphasized that partnerships such as these allow innovation that can make a difference to communities, adding value on many different levels and at the same time helping to establish new ventures that contribute to economic growth.
For Sarah-Anne Arnold, Manager of the MTN Solution Space, this collaboration represents a co-operative and purpose-driven endeavour into the future. Arnold also added that MTN already has a widespread footprint in Africa and that the GSB has a strong representation of African students at the business school combined with a reputation of research and academic excellence. The goal of this collaboration is to combine both strengths for a common purpose which is simply to find solutions to the greatest challenges facing the continent.
The MTN Solution Space has already been successful in helping start-ups gain a foothold in the business world and the UCT SGB is focused on developing a new paradigm for learning and research, prioritising on building African solutions and innovations. This collaboration with MTN will definitely make it possible to achieve better outcomes.