“If COVID-19 has taught us anything is that our collective health and prosperity depend upon working together and leaving no one behind.”
These were the words stated by Sanda Ojiambo, UN’s CEO and Director of Global Combat echoing the theme highlighted by Safaricom’s 9th sustainability business report, during the launch held this year. Resilience through transition which was the theme and the centre point of the discussion brought many areas to light as Safaricom shared its achievements, challenges and disruption the company has experienced due to COVID-19.
“Simply put sustainability is a business approach to creating long term value by taking into consideration how an organisation operates in the ecological, social and economic environment.” Said – Stephen Chege chief corporate Affairs officer.
Considering Safaricom has experienced disruptions both internally and externally, the sustainable business report gave an account of how the company has managed to stay resilient during the current times of COVID-19.
Some of the ways Safaricom has met the accelerated changes happening due to the Covid-19 crisis include;
- Providing services and products that keep customers connected while enabling them to work remotely. This posited Safaricom as a prime digital and technology service provider to over 35.6 million Kenyans.
- Increasing transaction limits and zero-rated person to person transactions of below Ksh 1000. Lipa na Mpesa merchants fit into the SME category and SMEs provide employment to about 80% of Kenyans contributing to about 40% of the economic activity.
- Through the Lipa na Mpesa app which empowers SME’s and micro-business owners to integrate technology into their business. Additionally, the app enables merchants to access statements, make payments and monitor their business performance in real-time
- Through the transaction till that enables businesses to pay employees, transact to banks and pay suppliers.
- Lipa Mdogo Mdogo which enables low-income Kenyans to stay connected.
- Rolling out of 4G sites which are an integral part in fast access and quality internet.
- Safaricom has also contributed 16.5 billion in cash and services that have supported the government in the fight against COVID-19.
“As long as the fundamentals are strong and resilient, a business can withstand any significant disruption,” Said, Peter Ndegwa, CEO Safaricom.
Aside from adapting to the changing times Safaricom also celebrated great milestones including;
- An increased market share by 2.6% and growth in the number of customers by 3.8 million.
- An increase of more than 105,000 enterprise customers, totalling the number to over 286,000.
- Adding an extra 2,300km to the fibre optic network which connected 1320 enterprise buildings. Safaricom has also connected over 142,000 homes and 11, 911 businesses to the fibre network as of date.
- Sustaining more than one million jobs in 2020.
Since 2012, Safaricom has shared the sustainable business report with its customers and the general public, as a way to discuss where the company’s at and raise awareness of the challenges encountered, in the race towards achieving SDGs by 2030.
Out of the 17 SDG goals, Safaricom champions 9 goals which have been the vehicle driving the company’s corporate affairs ever since Safaricom integrated these SDG’s into their corporate strategy.
For instance, to arrest climate change, Safaricom made a bold commitment to become a net Zero carbon-emitting company by 2050. The company announced that is committed to a plastic-free environment and continues to recycle 97% of waste generated, including electronic waste. Business: Companies should commit to saving the environment; here are 7 ways can contribute to this conversation
In their purpose towards transforming lives, Safaricom has been at the forefront in the dialogue to public-private partnerships. It is with this spirit that the company has been able to diversify their services, respond to people’s needs. foster inclusive businesses and invest in various activities which drive economic growth.
In 2015, Safaricom under the leadership of the late CEO, Bob Collymore, joined three UN agencies and the government, to reduce the rate of maternal mortality in 6 of the most affected counties. These include; Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Lamu, Isiolo and Garissa.
By the end of 2016, the maternal mortality rate in these counties had reduced by one-third, which was a big leap considering these counties represented 50% of the nation’s average.
This achievement demonstrated the strength of partnerships and positing Kenya as a trailblazer in public-private partnerships.
“COVID-19 has struck us like a bolt of lightning, reminding us of the fragility of humanity at the face of a pandemic. It has highlighted the contours of inequality between and within countries,” Said Sidhart Chatterjee, UN resident coordinator.
Therefore, committing to sustainable businesses creates a successful environment and a virtuous circle, that’s good for customers, employees, business, the planet and the future.
You can access the full report here.