It has been an interesting Tuesday for MTN company today announced its target of being carbon neutral by 2040, as well as signing a deal with Mastercard for mobile wallets

Two concurrent announcements from African mobile operator MTN point to some of their central strategic focusses for the coming decade: digitalisation and sustainability. 
Expanding e-commerce availability
Today saw MTN form a partnership with Mastercard, which will allow the 20.2 million users of their Mobile Money (MoMo) customers to pay for goods and services on international e-commerce platforms. 
The partnership will allow MoMo customers to link their e-wallets to Mastercard’s virtual payment solution, allowing them to partake in the internet economy even without a bank account.
“Consumers and merchants can engage with brands and businesses abroad through digital commerce, extending their reach to an international marketplace and unlocking a host of opportunities,” said the companies in a joint statement.
MTN currently offers MoMo services in 16 markets across sub-Saharan Africa.
Naturally, this new partnership is great news for major international retails, such as Amazon, who will be gaining access to millions of new potential customers in Africa.
“This significant milestone will enable millions of MTN customers to benefit from global digital commerce and drive digital and financial inclusion across Africa through easy and secure access to financial services,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard Middle East and Africa, noting the company’s global pledge to “connect 1 billion people to the digital economy by 2025”.
This expansion of MoMo is hardly surprising. Mobile money solutions in Africa are already commonplace, the most successful of which is likely Safaricom’s M-Pesa, which has over 40 million customers. Some operators are even expanding into digital banking itself, with Orange launching Orange Bank Africa last year.
Building a sustainable future
MTN has also announced today its new outline for having net zero carbon emissions by 2040, in line with much of the telecoms industry around the world. 
The operator said that the target is in line with the sectoral target-setting approach developed recently by the collaboration of the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), the GSM Association (GSMA), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). They also support the goals of the Paris Agreement.
To achieve this goal, MTN has launched its Project Zero programme, seeking to leverage the latest technologies and partnerships to deliver sustainability. 
We believe ICT companies and mobile operators have the potential to significantly contribute to global decarbonisation efforts,” says MTN Group Chief Technology and Information Systems Officer Charles Molapisi. “We are pleased that Project Zero is in full swing, actively driving energy efficiency and carbon emission sustainability.”
The operator also said it had plans to reduce its average absolute emissions by 47% by 2030.
MTN is a member of the GSMA’s Climate Action Taskforce, and as such is motivated to be at the forefront of the mobile industry’s drive to achieve carbon neutrality.
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