MTN embarks on far reaching procurement education drive

Leading cellular network provider MTN, has embarked on a 3-year programme to elevate the status of its procurement organisation across the group by ensuring that all its company procurement practitioners achieve an internationally recognised procurement qualification from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). The programme will be delivered by leading procurement education and training organisation Commerce Edge Academy (CEA), a registered CIPS international study centre.

“The elevation of the entire procurement function within the MTN group and the encouragement of continuous learning and development of employees is a strategy which MTN has adopted to ensure that the company is ideally placed to become a global leader in procurement best practice and methodology,” says Mira Ristovich, Senior Consultant: MTN Group Procurement.

The MTN Academy is responsible for providing CIPS qualifications to all procurement practitioners across MTN’s Middle East and Africa markets and has invited almost 150 candidates to enrol in the programme across the 22 countries in which MTN operates.

“MTN Academy’s vision is to drive business performance and set a new standard for talent development and organisational learning excellence within MTN. The Academy does not replace existing learning and development initiatives in the 22 operations, but aims to create a standardised approach across this diverse geographic footprint. Regional learning centers have been established in Accra, Dubai and Johannesburg, and we look forward to reporting on the success of this CIPS initiative over the next year,” explains Jacqui Kromberg, Senior Manager, MTN Academy.

CIPS is the leading international body serving and representing the purchasing and supply management profession. Dedicated to promoting good practice and continually improving the professional standards of procurement practitioners, CIPS provides a wide range of services for the benefit of its members and the wider business community.

“CIPS qualifications are recognised around the world and form the building blocks to a professional career in purchasing and supply management,” says Susan Keighley, CIPS Southern Africa, Manager: Memberships and Events.

Commerce Edge Academy is a registered international study centre for CIPS and supports students of the CIPS Education Programme internationally, delivering tuition at all the CIPS levels. Commerce Edge Academy assists students to climb the CIPS qualification ladder by means of tutor enabled blended learning and classroom based tutorials. Through their unique online student support technology, TEBLOS, Commerce Edge Academy coaches students every step of the way to successfully achieve a CIPS qualification.

“A professional qualification, such as the CIPS qualification, is by definition an accumulation of knowledge and skills as opposed to a traditionally knowledge-based academic qualification. The focus of a professional qualification is to ensure competence in the work environment,” notes Andrew Hillman, Director: Commerce Edge Academy.

Practical exercises given during learning relate directly to the learner’s specific work environment. Therefore, application of the knowledge obtained whilst progressing through their studies is immediate, says Hillman.

MTN procurement practitioners will be able to deliver the necessary value by strategically positioning the procurement function to improve the lowest cost operator mentality in its practitioners, mange spend management, select the best suppliers, improve vendor performance, optimize supplier relationships, improve risk management, improve procurement processes, leverage technology, conduct meaningful bench marking, achieve efficiency through the systemization of procurement operations and to utilize and implement a strategic procurement plan.

“MTN procurement practitioners will gain enhanced purchasing and supply skills, with the ability to think creatively and innovatively in solving supply related problems and to effectively deal with complex and unpredictable challenges,” concludes Ristovich.

With CIPS qualified procurement practitioners you send out a message to both internal and external stakeholders that your organisation is professional in its procurement activities and that it employs professional people to take care of its spend, says Keighley.

Organisations that engage professional procurement people should achieve savings of approximately 10% during the first year of their practitioners embarking on their studies. Other aspects of ROI include, but are not limited to, improvement in processes, efficiency savings, supplier performance and improved supplier contract management, notes Hillman.

To learn more about Commerce Edge Academy and CIPS Qualifications, please contact or go to

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