Message from the Chairman

As Chairman of the Board, it is my great pleasure to present to you our fifth sustainability report. This year felt like the start of the next phase in our sustainability journey. We embarked upon an inspiring, fundamentally different strategic course and there were tough times when things didn’t happen as smoothly as planned, as well as the heady highs of achievements that exceeded our highest expectations and standards.

In general, it feels fair to say that the past 12 months have been difficult ones for business in Kenya. A reality that is reflected in the disconcerting number of Kenyan firms issuing profit warnings and experiencing significant governance challenges. While the growth rate has remained strong, buoyed largely by continued public sector spending, high interest rates and a slowdown in activity in other sectors of the economy have dampened overall economic conditions.

Against this backdrop, it has been an invigorating year of transformation for us as we have restructured and reprioritised to align with our new strategy. It was a significant undertaking as we formed and integrated several new departments and decentralised many of our operations into six new regions. It is my sincere hope that this adjustment will help us to further deepen our evolving understanding of sustainability and the vital role it plays in our ability to transform lives.

Personal commitment The Board and I remain steadfast in our conviction that strong, dynamic governance is the bedrock of sustainability. Conducting our business in an ethical, transparent and responsible manner is fundamental to maintaining the trust of our stakeholders and remaining accountable to them.

Finely worded company policies and mission statements mean little without the personal commitment of each one of us to the values and behaviour such documents describe, which is why we would like to ask you, as stakeholders, to take a moment and refl ect on the role sustainability plays in your day-to-day operations and business practices.

Do you understand why we have adopted the vision and goals we have? Do you see how the way in which you conduct yourself in your role impacts on these objectives? Do you appreciate how you can make a difference on a daily basis?

On that note, we are excited to have reached the stage on our sustainability journey where we are beginning to convert our goals from a list of noble ideals into a set of meaningful, realistic daily objectives. We believe that the UN Sustainable Development Goals offer us a way of doing this and that these goals can be tied to our daily commercial objectives and used as a way of embedding sustainability deeper into the business. We have already begun this process and look forward to sharing our discoveries and progress in this regard in our report next year.

Commendable effort

In closing, the Board and I would like to thank staff and management for their enthusiasm and industry throughout the year. We have successfully navigated internal and external turbulence and continued to deliver encouraging results. We are now poised to reap the benefits of this transformation and everyone is to be commended for their energy and efforts.