Safaricom’s value to the economy grows seven-fold in a decade


Safaricom's value to the economy grows seven-fold in a decade
Dilip Pal, Safaricom PLC CFO (L), Kathryne Maundu, Company Secretary, and Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom PLC CEO during the firm's 13th Annual General Meeting held on July 30, 2021.

In Summary

  • The total value generated by the telecoms operator has risen from Ksh.95.7 billion in March 2011 to Ksh.664 billion this year.
  • Presently, Safaricom holds 190,273 direct and indirect jobs and has 4,456 permanent employees.
  • When expanded to cover its entire value-chain, Safaricom’s jobs impact is tabulated at 1,003,669 a sum nearly equal to its contribution of 1,013,728 jobs last year.

The value of giant telco operator Safaricom to Kenya’s economy has shot up seven times in just 10 years.

An analysis of the firm’s sustainability reports by Citizen Digital shows the total value generated by the telecoms operator has risen from Ksh.95.7 billion in the financial year ending March 2011 to Ksh.664 billion this year.

This is an equivalent 6.9 times growth rate over the last decade when the firm commenced publishing its sustainability reports.

Ten years ago, the value generated by the telco included Ksh.4.5 billion in employee wages and other benefits, Ksh.14.6 billion in payments to dealers and agents, Ksh.35.9 billion in payment to suppliers and Ksh.11 billion in taxation and dividends to government.

Back then, Safaricom had revenues of Ksh.94.8 billion and a profit after tax (PAT) of Ksh.13.2 billion.

The firm further employed 3,591 permanent and temporary employees.

Fast forward to a decade later, Safaricom boasts revenues of Ksh.254 billion and had a net profit of Ksh.68.7 billion as of March 2021.

Safaricom’s Ksh.664 billion in total value generated is meanwhile equated to about 5.2 per cent of Kenya’s GDP.

The generated value is broken down to economic value Ksh.344.6 billion and social value from M-Pesa at Ksh.251.1 billion.

Presently, Safaricom holds 190,273 direct and indirect jobs and has 4,456 permanent employees as per data from its 2021 Sustainability Report published on Wednesday.

When expanded to cover its entire value-chain, Safaricom’s jobs impact is tabulated at 1,003,669 a sum nearly equal to its contribution of 1,013,728 jobs last year.

Safaricom’s board chairperson Michael Joseph has attributed the company’s success to its grasp of the role it plays in the economy.

“The board and management continues to have an understanding of the role we have played in the Kenyan society which has helped us grow and succeed,” he said.

“It is for this reason that in November last year, we embarked on a new business strategy which will transform Safaricom to a purpose-led technology organisation by 2023.”

According to Joseph, the operator is moving into new businesses including agribusiness, education, healthcare and regional expansion in a move away from its usual comfort zone.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented headwinds for the company, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa says the crisis has provided key lessons on the role of partnerships for business agility and success.

“Its all about partnerships and going beyond as expressed in this year’s theme and you can see the impact. The COVID-19 pandemic has enforced our beliefs that we cannot succeed on our own. The pandemic has altered the environment for all businesses and ours was no exception,” he said.

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