(April 6, 2022 – Monrovia, Liberia) Wearing their trademark Lonestar Cell MTN Y’ello Shirts, CEO and staff of Liberia’s leading telecommunications company took to the Bushrod Island to encourage young people to become self-employed.
This is because the National Bureau of Employment in the Ministry of Labor reports that Liberia’s unemployment rate of young people is high.
The Bureau’s Director, Otis Wreyou, said, “We have over 6,000 CVs in the Ministry. Of those people between the ages of 25 and 35 who have registered their employment status with our databank of job seekers, the unemployment rate is 80%. They are mostly recent University and College graduates. For those people who are 36 and above the unemployment rate is 20%.”
Lonestar Cell MTN is helping to change this reality.
Christopher Ssali, the Mobile Financial Services General Manager at Lonestar Cell MTN, said that before becoming an agent, their lives were lived on the streets. He added that as an agent primarily conducting cash-in and cash-out transactions, these young people have a business, regular income, and an increased standard of living.
“That’s a major impact we have had on the lives of young people,” said Mr. Ssali.
“Our agent business gives an opportunity to every open-minded, business-oriented young Liberian to start a business with very little capital. Because of that, over 30,000 young Liberians have embraced the agent business, this has improved their livelihoods at a personal and family level. “
Eighteen-year-old Lonestar Cell MTN Agent, Roland M. Bornor said that the company took him to places he never knew existed.
“I was sitting to my house not doing anything. I took this work to sustain my life. Lonestar Cell MTN taught me how do my own business through the registration of SIM cards, using mobile money and more. I’m happy that I get paid every month,” said Mr. Bornor.
Mr. Bornor is a tenth grader at the Calvary Christian Mission Academy and uses the money he earns as an agent to pay his school fees, buy clothes, and take care of his personal needs.
For Lonestar Cell MTN, giving young people financial independence and self-determination is an important aspect of their corporate social responsibility.
Raphael Tawiah, Lonestar Cell MTN’s Head of Sales and Distribution, said that the young people who become a part of MTN’s sales force receive training on financial management, learn how to track products and sales, maximize revenue and receive business management training.
“What we do,” said Mr. Tawiah, “is give these young people the assurance that it is not only office work or being in the formal sector that gives them financial independence. Being an MTN partner and working out there on their own is a way they can also have financial stability.”
Chief Executive Officer, Rahul De, said, “We want to transform the lives of young people, nationwide, because they have enormous potential. Going into communities to give them access to our business opportunities is the least we can do. Once young people can provide for themselves and their families, they become productive citizens in society.”
About the Lonestar Cell MTN
Launched in 2001, Lonestar Cell MTN is the trusted mobile phone and mobile money operator in Liberia. Our singular focus is to lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world for our customers. Our reliable country-wide network, partnerships with Liberia’s major banks and over nine-thousand Mobile Money agents, Lonestar Cell MTN subscribers can deposit and withdraw cash, pay bills and pay for services seamlessly. We believe everyone deserves the benefits of a modern and connected life.