Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom has been named among the recipients of the 2022 Zero Project Award. The award recognizes innovative practices and policies aimed at driving inclusion for people with disabilities.
Feted at the annual event broadcasted from the United Nations’ Office in Vienna, Austria, Safaricom was recognized for its diversity and inclusion programmes including efforts to grow its percentage of employees who are people with disabilities, create accessible offices and retail outlets, and provide accessible products and services.
“As a purpose-led organisation, we strive to be reflective of the communities we serve by availing products and services that are accessible by all and ensuring equal-opportunity employment. We are honored to have our efforts recognized on the global stage, and it is a true testament to our commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion,” said Peter Ndegwa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom PLC.
The Zero Project was initiated in 2008 by the ESSL Foundation, an Austrian Foundation that supports social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and persons with disabilities. The project seeks to drive implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and has held annual awards since 2013 to recognize initiatives that promote diversity inclusion.
This year’s award centered on accessibility, and saw initiatives drawn from civil society, public sector, and private sector undergo an extensive peer-review process that evaluated their innovation, impact, and scalability.
Safaricom was one of four winners from Africa, and the only Kenyan awardee among the 76 initiatives from 35 countries. The others were: World Vision Zambia, Northern Uganda Hip Hop Culture and the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development.
Since 2018, Safaricom has increased its percentage of employees who are people with disability from 1.7% (95) to the current 2.5% (140), with a target of reaching 5% by the year 2025. In February this year, Safaricom partnered with the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), Sightsavers and Cisco to equip people with disabilities with digital skills through training and internship opportunities.