Safaricom’s value to the economy has increased sevenfold in a decade


The value of the giant telecommunications provider Safaricom to the Kenyan economy has increased sevenfold in just 10 years.

An analysis of the company’s sustainability reports by Citizen Digital shows that the total value generated by the telecommunications operator has increased from Ksh 95.7 billion in March 2011 to Ksh 664 billion this year.

That’s a 6.9x growth rate over the past decade when the company started publishing its sustainability reports.

Ten years ago, the value of the telecommunications company was Ksh 4.5 billion in wages and benefits, Ksh 14.6 billion in payments to traders and agents, Ksh 35.9 billion in suppliers, and Ksh 11 billion in taxes and dividends to the government .

At that time, Safaricom had sales of Ksh 94.8 billion and after-tax profit (PAT) of Ksh 13.2 billion.

In addition, the company had 3,591 permanent and temporary employees.

A decade later, Safaricom posted sales of Ksh 254 billion and net income of Ksh 68.7 billion (as of March 2021).

Safaricom’s total value of Ksh 664 billion. now corresponds to around 5.2 percent of Kenyan GDP.

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

Safaricom currently has 190,273 direct and indirect jobs and 4,456 permanent employees, according to the Sustainability Report 2021 published on Wednesday.

Extended across the entire value chain, the impact of Safaricom on jobs is tabulated at 1,003,669, which is almost the same as the contribution of 1,013,728 jobs last year.

Safaricom’s chief executive officer Michael Joseph attributes the company’s success to his understanding of the role it plays in the economy.

“The board and management continue to understand the role we have played in Kenyan society in helping us grow and thrive,” he said.

“That’s why we launched a new business strategy last November that will transform Safaricom into a focused technology company by 2023.”

According to Joseph, the operator is moving into new business areas, including agribusiness, education, healthcare and regional expansion, in an attempt to get out of his usual comfort zone.

While the COVID-19 pandemic was headwind for the company, Safaricom’s chief executive officer Peter Ndegwa said the crisis has drawn important lessons about the role of partnerships in business agility and success.

“It’s all about partnerships and beyond, as reflected in this year’s theme, and you can see the impact. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced our belief that we cannot be successful on our own. The pandemic has changed the environment for all businesses and ours was no exception, ”he said.

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