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Business News of Friday, 29 July 2011

Source: GNA

MTN sees CSR as a business strategy – Ikpoki

MTN Ghana, a mobile telecom provider, says Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business strategy tool it uses to fulfil its obligation of addressing the health, education and agricultural needs of Ghanaians.

Mr Michael Ikpoki, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana said through the MTN Ghana Foundation, the company had been able to address specific national needs particularly in the health and education sectors.

“The Foundation is therefore mandated to develop strategies that will help drive this agenda. Our focus is mainly on sustainability and aligning our projects to the Millennium Development Goals,” Mr Ikpoki said.

He was speaking on the topic: “Corporate Social Responsibility - A Moral Obligation or a PR Gimmick?” on Thursday in a speech read on his behalf at the Institute of Public Relations’ (IPR) 5th Presidential Luncheon in Accra.

Mr Ikpoti described CSR as an activity driven by a business decision than a mere Public Relation (PR) gimmick.

“As you all know, a gimmick is a kick or just something to grab the attention of the public. PR hinges on trust and integrity, not tricks.”

Mr Ikpoki said MTN Ghana was particularly excited about its interventions in society citing a number of projects and programmes embarked upon by the Foundation.

The interventions include the Korle-Bu Maternity project, provision of 10 ICT learning centres in the regions, AED project in the Northern region (an intervention that seeks to improve teaching and learning in selected schools), provision of 20 boreholes communities in the Upper West Region and the refurbishment of the Kpedze Health Centre in the Volta Region.

Ms Esther Cobbah, Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Communications Africa, underscored the importance of CSR in community engagement and maintaining a company’s goodwill and added that it needed to be used effectively and positively.

She called on members of the IPR to establish strong relations with corporate institutions and the media to make CSR activities relevant for development.

Major Albert Don-Chebe (Retired), President of IPR, expressed the hope that the luncheon would offer the opportunity for members and stakeholders to interact and forge closer bonds.

IPR, as a professional body for public relations practitioners in Ghana, was established in 1972 as the Public Relations Association of Ghana.

In December 1991 it was transformed into an institute.