Safaricom - 2020 Sustainable Business Report

SAFARICOM 2020 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS REPORT 12 INTRODUCTION OUR BUSINESS OUR MATERIAL TOPICS OUR STAKEHOLDERS CONCLUDING REMARKS Economically sustainable innovation Our purpose informs our approach to sustainability. We have never confused sustainability with corporate social investment. For us, sustainability means finding and devising commercially feasible solutions to the social challenges our society faces. Our partnerships and investments are economically viable and that is what makes them genuinely empowering and sustainable. It is an extension of the way we do business. It also reflects an attitude we have nurtured within the company. Our people are encouraged to view our business through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to identify ways in which we can help society, and to participate in the solutions they devise directly. This is another reason why our purpose has infused the DNA of the company. Several of our notable recent partnerships and investments illustrate our approach perfectly. DigiFarm capacitates smallholding farmers through access to micro-finance, discounted farm inputs and to information regarding best practices and markets. It is a virtuous circle as the success of the farmers drives the growth of the platform. Likewise, with M-Tiba, our micro-insurance healthcare product for low-income households. The same sustainable, shared value approach underpins our new M-GAS partnership as well. Launched during the year, the M-GAS solution enables low-income households to purchase gas on a pre-paid basis, using micro- payments through M-PESA to pay for what they need. We estimate that a family can cook three meals a day for less than KSh 70 and eliminate the respiratory infection and global warming risks associated with charcoal and kerosene pollution at the same time. Mobilising in response to crises Our sense of purpose also mobilises us to step towards a crisis when we see it. We read about the tragedy of a young girl who committed suicide because she lacked sanitary pads and was sent home from school for menstruating. We discovered the scale of the problem and how many young female scholars miss their final year national examinations for this reason. In response, we started the Keeping Girls in School initiative through the M-PESA Foundation and have distributed three months’ supply of sanitary towels and underwear and information on menstrual hygiene to around 800 000 girls. We have taken the same approach with the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to donating KSh 200 million of food to those in need, and thermal cameras worth KSh 10 million to the Ministry of Health, we have zero rated transaction fees on M-PESA transactions below KSh 1000, and charges for hospitals and dispensaries, and doubled the bandwidth available to our home fibre customers for free. We have set up a toll-free, 24/7 Coronavirus information and support hotline (719) through our call centre and allowed customers to use Bonga points to buy food and necessities as well. Refocusing on customer trust We launched our ‘For You’ campaign in October 2019 to rebuild customer trust and win back market share. An expression of our commitment to be simple, transparent and honest with our customers, the campaign included voice and data bundles with no expiry dates and simplified tariffs. The campaign has been a success, especially the data bundles, and we intend to build on this in the near future. Resilience through transitions It has been a year bookended by difficult transitions: the loss of Bob in July 2019 and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Yet we have proved to be resilient because our foundations remain strong. Our resilience is a testament to our strong sense of purpose. Our strength is drawn from our commitment to fulfilling our responsibilities as part of the fabric of life in Kenya. Safaricom is a special company and, having spent time with Peter Ndegwa, I am confident that he appreciates this and also understands our DNA. On behalf of the team, I would like to welcome Peter to the team and offer him our ongoing support. Michael Joseph Chief Executive Officer (outgoing) Safaricom PLC