2018 Review/2019 Outlook Bob Collymore, CEO Safaricom


    • I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise for the recent M-PESA outage and to acknowledge, with gratitude, the patience and goodwill shown by our customers as we worked to resolve the situation.
    • M-PESA’s history has been marked by ongoing improvements that has seen it grow from a simple money transfer system 11 years ago, to a payments system that has now gone global. This has been made possible by continuous system upgrades and innovations. Unfortunately in this instance, though the upgrade was initially successful it had a subsequent failure resulting to the outage.
    • The messages that we received from our customers from all over the country, served to underscore the fact that M-PESA has become an integral part of our lives. It is a critical means of paying for goods and services for many Kenyans – meaning that the effect of a system hitch will be felt fast and deeply. We are grateful to the millions of Kenyans who have bestowed their trust upon us, which we take as a serious duty.
    • Looking ahead, we see great opportunities for innovations and partnership with a positive impact on our customers making it possible for them to conduct financial transaction anywhere in the world and also open up our country to the global marketplace through e-commerce proposition such as Masoko.
  • We are already deriving great value from our partnerships with PayPal and Western Union, both of which are opening up the global marketplace to both enterprise and retail customers.


    • As we approach the end of the year we look back at 2018 as the start of recovery from the electioneering period.
    • However, in spite of the quietening of political noise and a positive economic outlook, consumers continued to grapple with the impact of high inflation and higher taxes such as those levied on financial and telecommunications services, which created a challenging environment that forced many businesses – large and small – to maintain a delicate balance.
    • Despite these challenges, we are encouraged by the sustained growth of the ICT sector, which continued to be a vibrant, innovative contributor to the economy.
    • We are also confident that current events within the sector, such as new entrants and increasing competitiveness, will keep things exciting in 2019 and beyond, with the greatest beneficiary being the consumer.
    • Overall, we expect that next year will be better for business and consumers. Our optimism is driven by the renewed confidence we are seeing in the economy, which the World Bank projects will grow 5.8 per cent in 2019 and 6 per cent in 2020.
    • Additionally, renewed efforts to fight corruption, as well as the Government’s commitment to implementing its Big Four Agenda, serve to give us hope for a brighter future.
  • Overall, we expect 2019 to be the year in which businesses, and the economy as a whole, will once again begin to enjoy real, sustainable growth and one that will trickle down to wananchi.


    • We have spent the last few months addressing concerns raised by our customers, including the cost and depletion of data bundles.
    • In response to multiple requests to give our customers more value in the face of increasingly strained consumer budgets, we introduced more affordable data bundles and packages for both our prepaid and post-paid customers, and complemented these with offers such as Tunukiwa, and 18-For-18, which has been extended to allow our customers to enjoy cheaper voice, data and SMS for a longer period of time.
    • In an effort to put more power over the consumption of data bundles in our customers’ hands, we also made it possible for them to not only monitor their usage, but to manage their subscriptions as well as to recover expired data bundles.
    • For 2019, we intend to maintain our focus on putting the customer first, delivering relevant products and services and enhancing operational excellence.
    • We are excited about the possibilities for growth offered by new revenue streams such as e-commerce, which we are tapping into through our online shopping platform, Masoko; the digitalisation of agriculture, which we are driving through our m-agribusiness solution, Digifarm; and the growth of our mobile and fixed data propositions.
  • We remain committed to our purpose of transforming lives, to reflecting the innate goodness and resilience of the Kenyan people through a strong Kenyan brand; to putting our customers first, and to walking with them every step of the way as we promised during our 18th anniversary celebrations: Tuko Nawe Kila Wakati.