Airtel Kenya is a leading telecommunication and mobile money services provider in Kenya. The telco’s voice, data, and mobile money services continuously work to transform consumers’ lives. Its main objective is to provide an intuitive customer experience through streamlined customer journeys. Airtel Kenya has over 16 million customers.
In tandem with the global expectations of subscribing to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), maintaining business sustainability, and conforming to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), Airtel Africa released its 2022 Sustainability Report. The report defines the business’ progress against the goals outlined in Airtel Africa’s sustainability strategy, covering the period from 1st October 2021 to 30th September 2022, prepared per the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This article looks closely at the sustainability report, focusing on Airtel Kenya.
Focusing on SDG #5, Gender Equality, Airtel Kenya remains committed to further developing an inclusive working environment that provides opportunities for all and reflects its values of being alive, inclusive and respectful.
A vital element of the firm’s diversity and inclusion programme is providing its current female employees with the training and mentoring necessary to help them develop to their full potential. For instance, Airtel Africa, Airtel Kenya’s parent company, launched the Women in Technology Programme in September 2022, designed to build its technology talent. The programme runs over 12 months, allowing trainees to pursue business projects carefully tailored to their experience, interests, and areas of focus. The first cohort for this programme comprises 60 women, with the anticipation that all the candidates will graduate from the course and will use their acquired knowledge, skill and confidence to train and mentor other women in technology.
In support of Quality Education (SDG #4), Airtel Kenya has partnered with UNICEF to enable 10,500 Kenyan learners to access digital education. Under the initiative, 30 schools across Kenya have been connected to the internet via Airtel’s high-speed 4G routers. Elimika and Kenya Education Cloud learning platforms have been zero-rated to enable children’s access to digital educational resources.
Furthermore, Airtel Kenya has partnered with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Directorate of Children services to ensure fair access to education for vulnerable children in society. Through the partnership, Airtel is paying fees for 21 students from rehab centres, granting them the right to education and an opportunity to transform their lives.
Airtel Kenya has also partnered with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Allianz Insurance to transform the Kibera Youth Centre (Nairobi, Kenya) into an indispensable hub providing educational and social facilities for the youth of the district. Through the partnership’s investment, Airtel Kenya has transformed the centre’s ground floor into a fully equipped and functioning IT facility with 12 computers of 15 megabyte (MB) high-speed, providing a secure internet connection. Today, the facility hosts popular computer science lessons where young people can learn and socialise. Since its establishment in 2021, Kibera Youth Centre has aided in educating around 150 children; on average, 50 young people use the centre every week.
Airtel Kenya strives to provide its people with a safe and healthy working environment, outlined by SDG #3, Good Health and Wellbeing. The firm has developed wellness programmes for its employees across the business, including an employee assistance programme under which employees enjoy 24/7 access to healthcare advisors. Airtel Kenya’s health and safety engagement with employees revolves around central themes and resources; for example, the ‘Healthy and Happy You’ wellbeing initiative includes webinar talks delivered by healthcare partners focusing on physical and mental health. The ‘MyHour with HR’ programme also focuses on HR sessions where employees can discuss policies, processes and benefits. This programme is essential for the firm to infuse best practices in employee engagement in line with Environmental, Social, and Governance factors (ESG).
Airtel Kenya marked World Environment Day on 6th June 2022. The theme for 2022 was #OnlyOneEarth- Let’s Take Care Of It. In celebration of the day, the firm hosted an electronic waste (e-waste) awareness and collection event, bringing together employees from the group and Kenyan offices. Employees were encouraged to bring unused or broken appliances from their homes for collection, and the telco worked with a certified recycler to collect and recycle the deposited e-waste. Correspondingly, 274.9 Kg of e-waste was collected and recycled on the day.
In 2022, Airtel Africa launched an initiative titled ‘Project Green’ in all 14 markets, and Airtel Kenya is one of them. The project focuses on circular economy initiatives and creating a culture in which the workforce is sensitised to the sustainability of all its activities. Environmental protection is embedded at the heart of its business.
Harmonious with SDG #6, Water and Sanitation, Airtel Kenya consistently supports conservation projects based on local authority requirements, particularly tree planting in water catchment areas. For example, in June 2022, Airtel Kenya partnered with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to plant 3,300 trees in Ngong Forest, one of the country’s essential water catchment areas.
With the revered Ashish Malhotra as Airtel Kenya MD, the company has worked on increasing its footprint across the country and has done so by serving customers and societies, connecting the unconnected, investing in the network and distribution channels, and bridging the digital divide, all whilst operating as a socially responsible corporation.