Safaricom has raised the pitch for public private partnerships as a means to achieving faster economic growth. According to the leading telco, the private sector should go beyond profit making, paying taxes and creating direct and indirect employment by also contributing to the social stability necessary for national development.
“With the implementation of the Big Four Agenda now at the top of everyone’s mind, there is a huge opportunity for partnerships between us in the private sector and both levels of government to help accomplish the noble objective of improving people’s lives,” said Joseph Ogutu, chief special projects officer, Safaricom. He was addressing over 6,000 delegates gathered for the Sixth Annual Devolution Conference at Kirinyaga University in Kirinyaga County.
“We cannot be successful when the very people we expect to consume our products and services are struggling to put food on the table and are unable to access affordable healthcare,” said Ogutu. To that end, he cited the M-Tiba innovation which is an efficient private-sector driven initiative working to enable citizens save for their healthcare and in turn reduce the stress they suffer whenever they get unwell or need to undergo significant medical procedures. M-Tiba, a product developed by the PharmAccess Foundation with backing from the M-Pesa Foundation, was deployed in Kisumu, Machakos and Nyeri in the pilot phase launched in 2018.
In the first three months, M-Tiba was used to register 2.6 million residents of the three counties on to the platform. This means that there are now an additional 2.6 million people who are in a position to set aside a small amount of money regularly to cater for their healthcare. Safaricom is the platinum sponsor for this year’s conference which was officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta.