According to a 2021 report by World Bank, Kenya has a population of 53.01 million of whom 10 percent are persons with disabilities. The Kenyan Constitution requires organizations to have 5 percent of their workforce being persons with disabilities. Nonetheless, accessing decent employment, as provided in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, has proven to be a major challenge. At Safaricom, 3 percent of the staff population are persons with disabilities, and the organization is keen on achieving the required 5 percent by 2025.
Deliberate partnerships are key in collectively mobilizing resources and developing strategies that create value and sustainable employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Safaricom is at the heart of this as the convener of the Global Disability Summit’s Kenya Chapter – a forum that brings together different stakeholders from government, private sector, NGOs, Academia, and Organizations of Persons with Disability. The Chapter was founded in 2019 and holds quarterly meetings with rotational hosting.
Dedicated to driving the realization of the Global Disability Summit charter for change commitments, Safaricom was elected as the inaugural Chair of the Kenya Businesses and Disability Network. This is a unique employer-led initiative hosted by the Federation of Kenya Employers, affiliated to the International Labour Organization that works to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Kenya. In just two years, the Kenya Businesses and Disability Network has brought together 28 member organizations in Kenya to jointly advance the employment of people with disabilities, with the aim of accelerating their economic empowerment.
Safaricom hosted the first joint meeting of the Global Disability Summit Kenya Chapter and the Kenya Business and Disability Network on 15 June 2023 with an attendance of 74 representatives from various organizations; a testament of harnessing the power of partnerships.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller