Through the years, Safaricom has maintained a vibrant stance on creating sustainable and progressive social impact across the Saharan vastity. Like a gallant solder that continues to fend for its immediate and extensive community, the positive weight of this telecommunication conglomerate has been felt from nearly every and sometimes the most unlikely crannies in the growing new-age Africa, especially in its haven motherland, gem-of-a-country, a small East African democratic wonderland called Kenya.
Scores can attest to how much their lives have changed for the better through the efforts of the company. Following the recent release of the 2019 Sustainable Business Report, the public is now free to understand the profound impact Safaricom has made in making the general state of livelihood for the ever-winning people of Kenya a far more anthemic. Stay alert while we review some bits of this white paper.
In an exclusive interview with the late Bob Collymore, the then CEO of the company, it was clearly expressed that the company had taken a vibrant stand towards championing the global sustainable movement by choosing to adopt and embrace the Sustainable Development Goals on its corporate strategy. This is especially important given the ever-growing urgency for the globe as a whole to adopt these vital ideals in its modern-day active reality for all.
From as early as 2016, Safaricom has been working towards realizing nine of the seventeen SDG’s, with a clear indication that this are the nine of which it found to really correlate with the company’s longterm agenda/s. Bob, however, remained silent about the specifics of these nine SDGs leaving readers curious as to whether it is the first nine or just a cocktail mix of the 17. Perhaps it was an executive decision by higher management to keep this obscure to keep the analytical bit of the audience guessing, perhaps it was just Bob trying to be dramatic.
Upon further scrutiny of the report, I discovered that the nine focal SDG’s focused on by the company are SDG 17 (Partnership for goals), SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong institutions), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 10 (Reducing Inequalities), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). One thing is for sure though, the figures do speak for themselves.
With a staggering 1072 tonnes of E-waste collected to date and 217 tonnes collected in the financial year of 2019 alongside an estimated 258250 kgs of recyclable/organic waste gathered and sorted, we can obviously see an inclination towards the climate action.
Other noteworthy statistical data is the 107762 residential homes and the 5992 business that have been connected to fiber-optic network. I interpret this as some sort of an eager enthusiasm that the telecommunications company has towards being a front-runner in the provision of quality and dependable internet in the region. Its main crown contenders are Zuku, a close runners up, Telkom, Airtel and Faiba who all share various healthy portions of the market.
Another remarkable advancement that has been brought about by the company is the state of parity in the gender distribution policy of the company. According to data sets released from the business report, Safaricom has achieved the challenging feat of having a near gender-equal employee distribution.
According to the late Bob, Safaricom has outdone itself by being able to achieve a 50/50 ratio of male to female employees across its many outlets. This is a feat that most corporates in Kenya are still yet to achieve. He continued further and acknowledged that there was still a bit of room for improvement, particularly in the top-level management where the gender proportion is far less encouraging.
With a menial 34% of female representation in senior managerial positions and a correspondingly discouraging 27% female representation in executive posts, we can see where his feelings about this root from. In other avenues, however, Safaricom has continued to show its support for women empowerment movement by enabling women-led ventures and businesses throughout the country. With its Women in Business initiative, it has ensured that women-led ventures are accorded a third of the public contracts and tenders issued out by the company in 2019, this being a drastic up from last year’s 10%.
Safaricom has also gone to declare that its inclusion policy extends to other misrepresented demographics such as disabled persons and evidence of this is present in the report.
With approximately 31.8 million customers, Safaricom continues to be an industry leader in more ways than one. It has reshaped and made us rethink on the whole mentality of the corporate structure being primarily extortionist. Some might argue that their charges might be a little too high in comparison with other competing brands but given the level of positive social impact they bring, the trade seems just about fair. One fixed certainty is that the telecommunications magnate is the better option when it comes to social impact and corporate social responsibility.