MTN Group clarifies role of International Advisory Board
Following the MTN Group announcement of Friday 3 May 2019 with respect to the evolution of the MTN Group Board and the establishment of an International Advisory Board (IAB) of eminent persons, MTN has issued a statement to provide clarity on the role of the IAB.
MTN said: "The construct of an IAB is one that is adopted by a number of global multinationals that operate in varied and multiple jurisdictions across the world. While this is not prevalent in South African domiciled companies, such Boards advise a number of global companies quoted on major global bourses.
The IAB is a non-statutory entity comprised of selected members. It neither undertakes fiduciary duties nor does it assume any accountability for the publicly quoted entity. IAB will not opine on any matters that have to do with the operations of the business.
The advice given by members of the IAB is not sectarian or partisan in nature nor is their contribution to society exclusive to the companies they advise, notwithstanding their commitment to meet on a regular basis and provide counsel when it is sought.
The primary purpose of the IAB is to provide general global and/or sector specific perspectives that may enrich the perspectives of the operating company’s Board as it strives to contribute to certain areas of development in the countries in which it operates.
The IAB members are typically comprised of eminent persons, such as former Heads of State and Government, and former or practicing heads of large global or regional institutions.
In the case of the MTN Group, the IAB will congregate in a non-statutory meeting twice a year to share its perspectives on geopolitical matters which impact on Africa’s and the Middle East’s continued overall development.
This would include such development as relates to telecommunications, internet penetration and connectivity - all which constitute a vital platform for Africa and the Middle East to digitise and participate in the fourth industrial revolution.
The MTN Group is very concerned that in all the countries and regions in which it does business, it must be a responsible and exemplary corporate citizen. Accordingly, it strives to be empowered to understand and discharge its social responsibility obligations in a manner that is consonant with the deeply held aspirations of its customer countries and regions.
In this context, the MTN Group is of the view that its operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East, constituting an aggregate population of over 600 million people and in excess of 235 million subscribers, will be well served by an IAB which will sensitise the Group to the dynamics and matters which bear on the development perspectives of these countries and regions.
The MTN Group is honoured that the former President of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, will Chair an IAB of esteemed members which, twice a year, will provide the MTN Group Board with what the Group is convinced will be important perspectives which will help the Group to achieve its firm desire to be the kind of exemplary corporate citizen to which we have referred."