Safaricom plans to lower the cost of mobile handsets and connect slum dwellers with wireless Internet as pressure mounts for corporates to integrate business with sustainable development goals to help bridge the wealth inequality gap.
The largest telco in the country by subscriber base will also develop innovative health products to deliver the wellbeing and improve living standards of subscribers to compliment its corporate social responsibility work. “We don’t live or operate in isolation.
If we contribute to the depletion of our planet, our businesses will suffer the consequences in equal measure,” said Safaricom chief executive officer Bob Collymore.
The company has already selected nine out of a set of 17 global goals that will initially be incorporated in its business strategy over the next decade. Delivery of innovative products and services, health, education and energy, described as underexploited opportunities, tops the list of goals Safaricom wants to pursue.
It has also pledged to build partnerships with technology partners and enhance its service provision through responsible consumption and creation of a stronger institution.
“The move to adapt the SDGs will in the long run stimulate growth and generate value for the company, society and economy,” said Collymore.
SDGs were adopted in September, last year with a view to ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring property for all through input from all sectors of society.
The option of firms racing beyond financing own operations are seen to create decent job opportunities and sustainable economic growth.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development secretary-general Dr Mukhisa Kituyi said most companies in the private sector have a capacity to embrace the global goals ahead of 2030 deadline.
A wealth of trained professionals in the country, he said, is enough to help the private sector to begin raising the bar on recruitment of staff and execution of CSR activities.