Zakhiya Rehman is the MTN Group sustainability manager, a mobile network operator in 24 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Southern Europe. Her focus is on the use of digital technologies to improve lives and natural environments, including addressing both MTN’s impacts and the potential for digitisation to enable the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Zakhiya applauds her company’s achievements with respect to e-waste management and investment in cleaner power sources, including community lighting in a few countries. Still, she’s aware that it still has a way to go.
Zakhiya Rehman has a commerce degree and worked as an IT business analyst for about 8 years. To obtain strategic management skills, she then worked as a management consultant for about 2,5 years. Her exposure to energy issues through two strategic public sector projects stimulated her interest and caused her much concern with respect to climate change and environmental matters. She has since then transitioned into a career in corporate sustainability, and has been working on sustainability matters for about 12 years.
From a corporate perspective, Zakhiya is interested in all aspects of energy, including clean, affordable, renewable energy access in emerging countries, resource reduction and sustainable consumption. From a personal perspective, she loves all things related to oceans and marine life. She’s especially interested in the importance of preserving mangrove plantations for environmental and community-related reasons.
In her personal capacity, Zakhiya does as much as she can to “live sustainably” while residing in a high-density urban centre, from maintaining a wormery which recycles her waste food into a superb fertiliser for her crops and a living soil in her container, to avoiding buying new clothes more than twice a year, reducing and re-using and mending, and using a small solar PV panel set for her power backup and some lighting. Zakhiya’s parents are fanatical organic gardeners, so she tends to stock up on basic vegetables, herbs, etc. on her weekly home visits. Her aim is to avoid purchases wherever possible, which is relatively easy since she says she doesn’t like shopping or malls. As far as possible, her daily needs are met by supporting small independent retailers within a short walking or driving distance.
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