Safaricom Ethiopia dragged onto social media for discrimination
Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia has met representatives of social media-driven campaign organised to protest over alleged discriminatory recruitment practices.
The campaign, carried out on Facebook and Twitter, alleges the company’s recruitment strategy deprives individuals from diverse backgrounds, specifically Afaan Oromoo speakers, of job opportunities.
Protestors have also lambasted the company for the absence of the Oromoo language within the company’s operation.
Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia released a statement in which it said it took the campaign seriously and had met with campaign representatives.
The statement reads: “We met with representatives of the social media campaign and listened closely to their concerns. We assured them that we are building a company that represents all of Ethiopia without any biases or prejudice and we are available for discussions anytime. We are committed to serving all Ethiopians in a way that respects all languages and cultures as part of our vision of transforming lives for a digital future.”
Abdissa Bacha, an organiser behind the social media protests, said all people of Ethiopia should get equal employment opportunities.
He said one of the objectives of the campaign is to push the company to employ qualified local people from areas where the services are provided and who can speak the language of the area.
Bacha said Safaricom was expected to reduce unemployment and create vast employment opportunities for all Ethiopians as long as they are qualified for the jobs.
Bacha was quoted by the local Addis Standard newspaper as saying, “Since the company came to Ethiopia and opened up its offices, we see the opposite. People are complaining to me that the Oromoo who were evaluated for the jobs were not getting job opportunities but I did not pay attention to this an individual matter. Later, the job opportunities offered and the staffing made the issue clear. When we look at the management of the company, it appears that the whole company is dominated by one group.”
In July the company said it had recruited 500 staff, 320 of whom are Ethiopians in preparation to launch in August.
The Safaricom consortium, which includes the British Development Finance Corporation Agency (CDC Group) and Japanese Sumitomo Corporation, secured a US$850-million licence to operate last year.