by Naftali Mwaura
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Thursday
signed an agreement with telecommunications firm, Safaricom to
expand forest cover through planting an additional five million
trees in the next five years.
Peter Kinyua, chairman of
Kenya Forest Service (KFS), said the new agreement with
Safaricom will promote restoration of depleted forests in north
western parts of the country that are a source of livelihood to
farmers and herders.
"The agreement we have signed today with Safaricom will
involve establishment of indigenous tree seedlings in our
protected forests. Restoring the health of this forests is a key
to achieve sustainable development," said Kinyua.
The new agreement was announced during the launch of
Safaricom’s eighth sustainability report that called for greater
involvement of businesses to drive equitable and green growth in
Kinyua said the government is keen to partner with the
private sector to expand forest cover from the current 7.2
percent to a minimum of 10 percent by 2022.
"We have engaged a number of corporate organizations to help
achieve the 10 percent forest cover.
"Recently, some commercial banks agreed to be part of this
program to reclaim our forests," said Kinyua.
He said the government is providing space inside protected
forests to enable businesses establish tree seedlings and
partner with community based groups to promote reforestation.
Stephen Chege, head of corporate affairs at Safaricom, said
the company will engage with Kenya Forest Service in a
structured manner to tackle depletion of the vital ecosystem
that is to blame for disrupting rural livelihoods.
"As a company, we have committed ourselves to support the
government expand the forest cover in line with our sustainable
business principles," said Chege.
He said that Safaricom has rallied behind environmental
stewardship in the light of climate change that has negatively
impacted on businesses and community livelihoods.
Kenya’s telecom firm
pledges support for green growth and inclusivity
by Naftali Mwaura NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Kenya’s largest telecom firm,
Safaricom will scale up investments in programs that advance
climate resilience, poverty eradication and inclusivity, senior
executives said on Thursday.
Nicholas Nganga, chairman of Safaricom, said the publicly
listed company will leverage on its large network coverage,
products and innovations to support Kenya’s sustainability
"We continue to frame sustainability as a business response
to the challenges we face as a society, as well as a central
facet of our purpose to transform lives," said Nganga during the
launch of the 8th edition of Safaricom’s sustainability report.
The report titled "Towards reducing inequalities" shed light
on innovative measures Safaricom has adopted to promote equity,
diversity and inclusion in its supply chains.
Nganga said the telecom firm has deployed additional
resources to advance environmental stewardship, gender parity,
inclusive growth, transparency and good governance.
"We have deployed a more advanced approach to our
sustainability agenda in 2019, by focusing on activities aimed
at reducing inequalities, as envisioned by sustainable
development goal 10," said Nganga.
This year’s edition of Safaricom’s sustainability report
indicated the company has created about 979,000 direct and
indirect jobs through its flagship services like mobile banking.
Stephen Chege, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Safaricom,
said the company has adopted sustainable practice aimed at
improving the socio-economic welfare of communities and their
"Our business continues to contribute towards successfully
improving the quality of life for Kenyans across the country,
creating sustainable livelihoods and delivering a wide range of
products, services and initiatives that support businesses and
families," said Chege.
Sanda Ojiambo, head of corporate responsibility at Safaricom
said the company has leveraged on its competitive edge in
innovations to promote sustainable farming, climate adaptation
and entrepreneurship in Kenya.
"We have taken proactive steps to help reduce inequalities,
promote governance and sustainable livelihoods," said Ojiambo
adding that Safaricom has adopted robust measures to reduce
carbon foot print across its core operations.