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United Nations poaches Safaricom staffer Sanda Ojiambo to lead UNGC


It is always a welcome sight to see an employer celebrate their employee stepping up the corporate ladder. Especially, if that ladder is not within the organization, and it means, the employee packs up their desk and leave for a better employer. That is the case for Kenya’s leading telecommunication company Safaricom. The telecom losses its Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact, Sanda Ojiambo, to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

Sanda Ojiambo, will from June 17, 2020, become the new Executive Director at UNGC, the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

Replacing the outgoing Lise Kingo from Denmark, who held the position since 2015. Ojiambo’s appointment was made by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“Sanda brings 20 years of experience to lead the Global Compact in its next phase to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders and bring the full weight of the private sector to achieve the SDGs,” – said Guterres

Sanda Ojiambo’s former role at Safaricom

Ojiambo held the position of Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact at Safaricom since 2010. Before that role, she was the Senior Manager of Safaricom and M-Pesa Foundation and it was in that role that she spearheaded several implementations of public-private partnership initiatives between Safaricom and the UN.

Her former boss, Peter Ndegwa, CEO at Safaricom had the following nice words to send her off:

Sanda has been instrumental in leading our Sustainable Business team that focuses on Sustainable Shared Value, Corporate Social Investment, and Technology for Development. She has also played a major role in the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our business operations.”

Related: Safaricom partners with CloudFactory to facilitate Digital Skill training to Kenyan youths

Ojiambo’s Credentials

Ojiambo has a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, USA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Development from the McGill University, Canada.

About the UNGC

The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) was established in July 2000. It is a United Nations’ strategic policy and advocacy program calling upon businesses to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in matters of human rights, corporate governance, labor, and environment. Essentially, the program encourages businesses to adopt SDGs and integrate them into their core operations and funding activities.

Ojiambo’s former employer, Safaricom has been an active member of UNGC and is currently listed as the only African Global Compact LEAD company. That recognition is only given to companies that stand out in their engagement and alignment with the UNGC initiatives. Other Global Compact LEAD companies include Nestle, Accenture, and Unilever.

There is absolutely no doubt that Safaricom as a company was on the radar of UNGC. It, therefore, comes as little surprise UNGC was eyeing Sanda Ojiambo in her role at the telecommunication company.

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