ICT Policy



City Profiles

Listing the Telecom Foundations in Africa

July 27, 2012  »  BusinessNo Comment

Telecoms undoubtedly empower the privileged (those who can afford services), but what about the segment of the population who can’t afford a subscription?

In fact, the telecommunications operators with the largest market share in Africa use knowledge of the industry to help underprivileged people. Although there are dozens of telcos that operate in Africa, relatively few have a social arm to give back to the community. Those that do tend to be the most established in their respective markets (ie. they are known by all and have plenty of excess revenue).

Telecoms with a foundation aim to:

  1. support a variety of sustainable projects
  2. serve as a model for good corporate citizenship
  3. are endorsed by a wide variety of stakeholders (government, regulators, tax authorities, projects’ beneficiaries)
  4. enhance the perception of the telecom brand

Common areas served by a telecom foundation {MTN}

Perhaps Vodafone Ghana Foundation sums up the philosophy behind the foundation model, saying:

…corporate bodies have a responsibility to give back to society. We are sure that increasingly the success of our business will be based on the quality of our connection to community.”

An assortment of telecommunications operators with local foundations is included below. Keep in mind that many telecoms support other foundations and partnerships even if they don’t have a separate foundation of their own (ie. Maroc Telecom, Orascom, etc.).

The top 5 telecoms operators in terms of number of African subscriptions all have a foundation, although the “Big Three” of MTN, Vodacom, and Orange are by far the most active:


MTN Foundation – Nigeria

  • “Improving the quality of life in our communities”
  • supports a wide variety of projects across Nigeria
  • More info

MTN SA Foundation

  • a dedicated foundation for South Africa
  • focuses on education, health, arts & culture, entrepreneurship, employee volunteerism
  • More info

MTN Ghana Foundation

  • similar in scope to other MTN foundations
  • launched essay competition in July 2012

Vodacom Foundation


{Vodacom Foundation SA}

Orange Foundation


  • existed since 2005
  • now serves 30 countries including 14 in Africa
  • supports education, health, and social integration
  • local chapters in Senegal, Mali, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Nigeria
  • More info

Bharti (Airtel) Foundation

  • predominantly focuses on projects in India, but has assisted Africa
  • contributed to school projects in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria
  • More info

Ayaadi Etisalat

  • the caring arm of Etisalat that works on corporate social responsibility
  • very active in UAE, but not as documented in Africa
  • More info


Safaricom Foundation


  • established in 2003
  • supports initiatives/projects that provide sustainable solutions to the most pressing social challenges
  • More info

Fondation Sonatel


  • created in 2002 to support human development efforts
  • More info

Mauritius Telecom Foundation

  • established in 2009
  • supports projects in socioeconomic development, health, education, environment, catastrophic event relief, and more
  • More info

Telecom Egypt

  • the company takes part in myriad philanthropic roles
  • More info

Please let us know of any foundations we missed in the comments.

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