Presenting the information during the conference at the Sarova Stanley Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya, Safaricom’s corporate affairs director Nzioka Waita said Safaricom seeks to go beyond providing communications services to adding value and transforming the lives of Kenyans.
“The rationale behind our products and services for women is that at least half our customers are women and that women make a significant contribution towards driving forward Kenya’s economic development and growth at the micro and macro levels,” said Waita.
According to him, Safaricom as a company does this from various perspectives: as part of its digital inclusion agenda, as part of a social enterprise agenda and underpinned by its belief that it is also the right thing to do.
Waita said Safaricom services such as M-Pesa and M-Shwari had changed the lifestyle of Kenyans, particularly women.
The Finance Trust (KWFT), he said, is a deposit-taking microfinance institution that provides financial services to women and has integrated M-Pesa as a means of accessing funds.
M-Shwari has also provided women with a platform to save and borrow money, in turn elevating their economic status. They use these services to start their businesses and also to pay school fees for their children.
From both a commercial and inclusion perspective, Safaricom is using its platforms to deliver e-health, e-education, financial inclusion and e-empowerment services to Kenyan women.
Another service the director presented was an SMS-based wellness services called Afya Tips, which offers personalised health information and solutions in both English and Swahili to subscribers. The product attracts customers of all socio-economic brackets almost in equal measure.
“Most importantly, we also offer a service called Pregnancy Tips, a service that provides relevant information on pregnancy care to women, including gestation tracking, general wellness, diet, antenatal care information and information on help a woman prepare for delivery and thereafter,” he said.
Finally, Waita mentioned M-KOPA Solar as another service that has helped women, providing access to affordable and green lighting solutions.
These among other products and services, Waita said, have made Safaricom a champion for mWomen, aiming to bring information and services to marginalised or excluded groups and add value to thousands of Kenyan lives.
“In this way, we are able to add value to thousands of Kenyans lives, because we know the power and transformation that having a mobile phone in your hand can unleash,” he said.