Safaricom contributes six per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, impacting on millions of Kenyans with the company’s products.
According to Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, a True Value report prepared by consultant firm KPMG found out that the firm’s impact “extends well beyond the numbers”.
“For every Sh1 revenue generated by Safaricom over the past decade, an additional Sh2 was added to the economy,” said Collymore during the release of the company’s full year results on May 10.
Further, for every Sh1 million of revenue generated by Safaricom, four jobs were sustained per year.
“Our continued investment in infrastructure has created an additional two jobs for every Sh1 million spent. Most tellingly, KPMG found that infrastructure investments and revenue generated by Safaricom over the past decade have helped fight poverty – as close to 6 per cent of additional income generated by Safaricom flowed to low income households,” said Collymore.
The statistics supported earlier research by MIT, who discovered that M-PESA has lifted roughly 2 per cent of Kenyan households from extreme poverty (defined as those living on less than $1.25 per day).
“It is these figures that drive this company. Not only do they define our impact, they also tell the true story of Safaricom in this economy,” according to Collymore.
The KPMG report indicates that in reality, the company created total value amounting to ten times the company’s profits.
Separately, an MIT economics professor has studied Tavneet Suri has studied the financial and social impact of Kenyan mobile money services since 2008.
“Her work has shown that these services have helped Kenyans save more money and weather financial storms, among other benefits,” reported MIT News of the professor’s work. Ms Suri, an associate professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a faculty member in MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, co-authored the paper with longtime collaborator William Jack, an economist at Georgetown University.
“We estimate that access to the Kenyan mobile money system M-PESA increased per capita consumption levels and lifted 194,000 households, or two per cent of Kenyan households, out of poverty,” according to the paper published in the Science journal in December.
“The impacts, which are more pronounced for female-headed households, appear to be driven by changes in financial behavior—in particular, increased financial resilience and saving—and labor market outcomes, such as occupational choice, especially for women, who moved out of agriculture and into business,” the professors wrote.