Telecoms operator Safaricom’s voice, data and M-Pesa business sustained more than 845,846 jobs in the year to March 2016, a newly released study shows.
The report by consulting firm KPMG — ordered and paid for by Safaricom — says the telecoms operator sustained the jobs through its own workers and the linkages created by products and services such as airtime dealers, mobile money agents and distributors.
The Safaricom juggernaut further injected Sh413.8 billion into the economy in the year to March, equivalent to 6.6 per cent of Kenya’s total output, technically known as gross domestic product (GDP).
“The greatest contribution the company makes to Kenya’s social value is through M-Pesa,” said Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore during release of the ‘True Value’ sustainability report.
The mobile money platform added Sh184.6 billion to the Kenyan economy “excluding transaction fees,” nearly fivefold the Sh41.5 billion Safaricom made in revenue from M-Pesa, Mr Collymore said.
More than 182,883 jobs are directly related to the mobile telecoms firm, while the rest are linked to the indirect activities.
Kenya added 841,600 new jobs to the economy in 2015, according to the latest Economic Survey — meaning Safaricom alone sustained an equal number of jobs.
“Safaricom cannot take full responsibility for indirect jobs as a number of them would exist without Safaricom,” the firm said.
This is the second year Safaricom is publishing a sustainability report, which quantifies the value it creates in East Africa’s largest economy, beyond the bottom-line.
The 2015 report showed Safaricom cumulatively supported more than 682,000 jobs and ploughed Sh315 billion into the economy.
KPMG’s “True Value” methodology involves summing up the company’s earnings, value-add operations, and capital expenditure, less costs incurred and an impairment for corruption.
Safaricom was founded in 1997 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya, and in June 2008 listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
The firm had 4,602 employees in the period to March 2016, who raked in Sh12.56 billion in salaries, bonuses, pension contributions, and medicare schemes.
The additional jobs were made through Safaricom’s 485 dealers, 252,000 active retail outlets, 100,744 M-Pesa agents, 19 partner commercial banks, 43,603 merchants who accept Lipa Na M-Pesa, utility firms, and insurance companies that use the telecoms company’s services.
Safaricom said it spent Sh76.8 billion to procure goods and services from a total of 1,094 suppliers, who in turn created and sustained a significant portion of the 0.8 million jobs.
Credit: Business Daily