Safaricom - 2020 Sustainable Business Report

9 INTRODUCTION OUR BUSINESS OUR MATERIAL TOPICS OUR STAKEHOLDERS CONCLUDING REMARKS Message from the Chairman As Chairman of the Board of Safaricom, it is my great pleasure to present to you our ninth Sustainable Business Report. The theme of this report is ‘resilience through transition’ and, as the report describes, the fundamentals of our business were tested during the reporting period. Early in the year, we were tested by an unexpected leadership transition when our CEO, Bob Collymore, suddenly and sadly passed away. We are being tested now, at the close of the year, by the global health emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We had expected the economy to recover during the year, but the economic turnaround did not materialise and, even before the pandemic reached Kenya in early 2020, we were facing the economic headwinds of rising costs, reduced consumer spending power and slowing economic growth. Against this challenging economic backdrop, we had to rely on the strong foundations of the company as we sought to rebuild customer trust and win back market share. While the full impact of the pandemic will only become apparent in the next financial year, we have risen to the challenges we have had to confront during the period under review and I am satisfied with how resilient we have proven to be. Stability and strength in leadership On behalf of the Board, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our incoming CEO, Peter Ndegwa, to the team. Peter joins us at a challenging time, but the Board and I are confident that his enthusiastic vision of the pioneering role Safaricom can play in developing our collective digital future makes him the ideal person to lead us forward. We would also like to thank Michael Joseph for his capable and stable leadership during this period of disruption and transition. The strong performance of the business and the delivery of earnings ahead of projection is testament to his exacting focus, determination, and drive. Supporting the government and people of Kenya We remain committed to supporting the government and people of Kenya. We have contributed more than KSh 6.5 billion in money, goods and services to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic so far and we appreciate that part of the reason why we have been able to offer this support is because we operate in a regulatory environment that allows pioneering companies to succeed. As the independent True Value assessment featured in this report highlights, we sustained more than one million jobs directly and indirectly this year and spent KSh 58 billion, or 74%, with local suppliers. We remain committed to supporting the government during these unprecedented times and, as we look ahead to the post-pandemic revival of the economy, we urge the government to balance revenue recovery with encouraging business renewal and growth.