Safaricom Targets Up to 10% of High Value Women in Business by 2020

Re-imagining the Nexus Between Leadership and Gender in Africa

Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom and KAM Chief Executive Phyllis Wakiaga during the women in Manufacturing gala dinner in Nairobi

Safaricom targets at ensuring that women-owned companies account for at least 10 percent of its procurement spend in its Financial Year 2020 through ‘Women in Business (WIB)’ initiative.

WIB is designed to grow the number of women-owned and led enterprises supporting them to provide services in high value areas such as infrastructure equipment and energy, and creating opportunities through mentorship.

“This means that when a specific need arises, no further prequalification assessments need to be done. The women have already been scaled up and can take up bigger, more challenging assignments,” said the telco in its 8th annual “Sustainable Business Report”.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)-listed company says at the start of its financial year 2019, it had 113 active suppliers’ women-owned businesses.

“However, most fulfilled relatively low spend needs such as stationery supplies, cleaning and cafeteria services.”

To create more visibility for women-led businesses, it put out a call for applications from women-owned businesses specializing in technology. By the end of the same financial year, the telco had grown its list of active WIB suppliers to 178.

“Our spend with them increased from Ksh 1.9 billion to Ksh 2.4 billion representing 3.2 percent of Safaricom’s total amount of goods and services purchase expenditures.”