Safaricom, Kenya’s top telecommunications company, has been named one of the 2022 Zero Project Award honorees. The award honors creative policies and practices that promote inclusion for people with disabilities.
Safaricom was honored at the annual event broadcast live from the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria, for its diversity and inclusion initiatives, which included efforts to increase the percentage of disabled employees, create accessible offices and retail outlets, and provide accessible products and services.
“As a purpose-led organization, 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 ESSL Foundation, an Austrian foundation that supports social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and people with disabilities, launched the Zero Project in 2008. Since 2013, the project has presented annual awards to recognize projects that promote diversity inclusion and drive implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The theme of this year’s prize was accessibility, and efforts from civil society, the public sector, and the commercial sector were reviewed through a rigorous peer-review process that looked at their originality, impact, and scalability.
Safaricom was one of four African winners, and the only Kenyan among the 76 initiatives from 35 countries to get an award. The Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development, World Vision Zambia, Northern Uganda Hip Hop Culture, and World Vision Zambia were the others.
Since 2018, Safaricom has increased its percentage of disabled personnel from 1.7 percent (95) to 2.5 percent (140), with a goal of reaching 5% by 2025. Safaricom teamed up with the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), Sightsavers, and Cisco in February to provide training and internship opportunities for people with impairments.