Safaricom is the largest telecommunications provider in Kenya. The company operates through four business segments: 1. voice & SMS, enabling customers to make calls and send text messages within and outside the network, 2. mobile money transaction services via its M-Pesa platform, allowing customers to deposit, transfer and withdraw money or pay for goods and services using a mobile phone, 3. mobile data, enabling customers internet access, and 4. fixed services, consisting of fixed fibre and leased lines, wireless and hosted services. Safaricom also has a small portion of hardware revenues, mostly consisting of handsets, decoders, routers, and SIM cards.
Safaricom services B2C and B2B. Safaricom’s network is rolled out only in Kenya where it serves around 40 million customers, with expansion plans into Ethiopia. Besides in Kenya, M-Pesa is also available in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Egypt, Ghana, Lesotho and Mozambique. The company has 6,000 employees and is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
Kenya is classified as a Lower middle-income country (LMIC). While the country has significantly lowered its poverty rate, still 26.3% of workers were estimated to be living on less than 1.90 U.S. dollars per day in 2021. Kenya's population is also young, as the median age is 20 years and 40% of the population is less than 14 years old.
Even if Kenya’s road infrastructure is relatively well developed, it remains a challenge for rural communities to connect to the urban centres, mostly concentrated in the southeastern part of the country. As 70% of Kenyans live in rural areas, mobile or internet connectivity is essential to ensure inclusion, to improve well-being, intellectual development, and earning ability. This became clear during the corona pandemic, when mobile devices were the only way by which children could receive education.
Safaricom's communication services play a key role in ensuring economic and social inclusion. Particularly as the company’s products allow for charging per second, have low rates of minimum prepaid scratch cards, and allow for call me notifications. Next to this, company’s mobile money transaction service M-Pesa provides greater access to financial services for individuals and businesses who may otherwise be unable to open a formal bank account. By enabling access to education, Safaricom has a strong, positive contribution to child prosperity given Kenya's young population.