MTN partners with Digital Skills Academy to drive their Transformation

7th December 2015

Digital Skills Academy
Pictured at the partnership signing were left to right: Mteto Nyati, CEO of MTN SA and Paul Dunne, CEO and Founder of Digital Skills Academy

Digital Skills Academy, the Dublin headquartered provider of world-leading accredited online International Bachelor of Science Degrees in Digital Skills, today announced that South Africa's largest telecommunications company, MTN, has partnered with Digital Skills Academy to upskill their corporate teams in Africa. This follows Digital Skills Academy’s partnerships with South Africa’s number one retail bank, Standard Bank, and the leading South African andglobal professional services firm, KPMG to support the digital transformation of these companies.

With a newly opened office in Johannesburg, South Africa, Digital Skills Academy, which is an Enterprise Ireland supported company, has facilitated this international expansion by making the transition from the traditional model of classrooms to a fully online environment, pioneering the latest developments in online learning and virtual team-working technologies to deliver its innovative digital industry-linked programmes globally. This transition has enabled Digital Skills Academy to offer their Internationally-recognised programmes to participants from all over the world - opening up a unique opportunity for the exchange of ideas on a global scale.

Digital Skills Academy’s new International Bachelor of Science Degrees in Digital Skills, accredited by Dublin Institute of Technology, are focused on upskilling corporate teams and professionals for careers in digital, including digital-business managers, web and mobile developers, user-experience (UX) designers, digital marketeers and digital sales professionals.

Currently participants from a range of countries are enrolled on these International programmes, including participants from the UK, South Africa, Mexico, Finland, Lithuania and Ireland. These participants work in international teams throughout the International BSc programmes, developing digital-innovation projects with the Academy’s industry partners.

Commenting on Digital Skills Academy’s international expansion, Paul Dunne, Founder & CEO of Digital Skills Academy, said; “Since our beginnings in 2008, providing innovative digital industry-linked programmes to the Irish market, we have been firmly focused on becoming a world-class leader in the delivery of digital technology education, and building partnerships with industry internationally. The feedback from our meetings with Industry Partners internationally is that the digital skills shortage is proving to be a challenge across a range of business functions. The solution needed is not only to add more IT people, but rather to add new digital skills to existing staff in the business. This is the challenge that Digital Skills Academy addresses.”

“Our unique learning process requires participants to work in cross-functional virtual teams on industry-assigned digital projects – the skills required to work in these types of teams is a skillset increasingly sought after by employers globally. We are very pleased to work with South Africa’s largest telecommunications company to help unlock the digital skills potential of its corporate teams.” added Paul Dunne.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland commented: “An innovative approach to delivering education and training programmes in the digital space has clearly worked for Digital Skills Academy. It is enormously encouraging to see the company develop partnerships and establish its presence in important global markets like South Africa. Enterprise Ireland will continue to work with Digital Skills Academy in expanding its international customer base, driving export sales and increasing jobs at home”. 

Speaking at the partnership signing with Digital Skills Academy and MTN South Africa, Ireland’s Ambassador to South Africa, Ambassador Liam Mac Gabhann, said; “Ireland is a strong global performer in skills development, education and eLearning. It is encouraging to see new doors opened for increased collaboration and knowledge sharing between Ireland and South Africa in this important sector.”

Mteto Nyati, CEO of MTN South Africa, said the agreement will support the telecoms giant’s transformational projects, primarily around its customer services and digital strategies. “The partnership with Digital Skills Academy aligns with our aims to develop the necessary skills to transform our service delivery. Customer service is at the centre of what we do, and is our key differentiator within the telecoms space. We want to significantly transform the way we interact with our customers through our various channels, and we will be using these new skills to help us up our game within that space. The initiative will help to upskill key MTN staff, which will help us to retain key talent in a market where we have huge shortages, as well serving as a form of recognition for our top performers.”  

“It will also be beneficial for us to have people coming from outside our company and looking with fresh eyes at our challenges and giving us feedback, and out of that helping us to come up with clear plans that we can execute.” Mteto Nyati added.

About the MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 30 September 2015, MTN recorded 233 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit us and