Safaricom Nairobi West Dissemination Partners Forum

On 9th March 2018 the Safaricom Foundation and the M-PESA Foundation held a dissemination forum for the Nairobi West Region at the Safaricom House Michael Joseph Centre. The forum’s main focus was sustainable livelihoods for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

The Nairobi West Region is one of the six regions created by Safaricom dividing the country with the idea to get close to the customer. It includes the larger Nairobi area up to Limuru. According to Safaricom, the company has invested over Ksh 500 million in the region in various projects.

The Forum began with guests introducing their organisations and the work they have been able to do with the help of the Safaricom and M-PESA Foundations. Some of the organisations in attendance included the Kenya Society of the Blind who were able to build an eye drops production unit with the help from the Safaricom Foundation while Women Challenged To Challenge (WCC), an organization that promotes the lives of women with disabilities through development programs got funding from the Safaricom Foundation to purchase a motorized marina peanut butter machine.

Partnerships is a word that was used prominently throughout the forum and the assembled guests were encouraged to mingle together in order to find out what partnerships and collaborations could be made in order to achieve the SDGs.

“It is our hope that this forum will ignite a debate on how we can together contribute towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goals. There is a serious need for all stakeholders to come together and discuss our various roles and responsibilities that we need so as to achieve these goals and how best we can replicate this universal framework at the local level,” said Joe Ogutu, Safaricom Foundation Chairman in his address.

Safaricom Foundation Chairman, Joe Ogutu addresses beneficiaries during the Safaricom and M-Pesa foundation dissemination forum held at MJC to help bring people together for sustainable livelihoods.

There were two presentations at the forum showcasing examples of integrated programmes in the region. The first was by Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) a grassroots community led organization looking to transform informal settlements in Kenya. SHOFCO’s vision is to build urban promise from urban poverty through providing critical services for all, community advocacy platforms and education and leadership development for girls. They spoke about analyzing the SDGs and mapping them to their services and programmes. They are now aware of what SDGs are important to SHOFCO. One of them is SDG 4 Quality Education which seeks to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. This SDG is mapped to SHOFCOs education and leadership development programmes that they run for girls, the future agents for change for the country.

The second presentation was from PharmAccess Foundation, a Dutch based foundation whose main aim is to connect people to quality healthcare. One of their products in partnership with Safaricom is the M-Health initiative M-Tiba, a service on the mobile phone allowing one to access healthcare at a facility. M-Tiba helps to ensure that money given for healthcare whether by an employer to an employee or a relation to far away family is actually used for healthcare and not for other things.

The keynote address was given by Mr. Mumo Kivuitu, Regional Managing Director EBS Advisory- Eastern Africa. He spoke about the issue of livelihoods and the SDGs. According to him, livelihoods are the means to meet your basic needs, the capabilities, assets, incomes and activities that can enable economic and social empowerment. Promoting livelihoods helps to achieve SDGs such as SDG 1,8 and 9. Mr. Kivuitu also spoke about the three imperatives for livelihood programming; mindset, assets or the tools to enable engagement in economic opportunities and capabilities or the technical skills to manage the economic opportunities.

The results of the forum should help the various organisations in attendance know the SDGs that resonate with their work as well as creating partnerships and fostering collaborations to achieve the SDGs.