Safaricom  has signed a partnership with M-KOPA Solar in a move that will focus on skill exchanges in the areas of Technology and Innovation, Human Safety & Wellness and Customer Experience Excellence.

The talent exchange programme, the first one of its kind that Safaricom has signed with another local company will see Safaricom staff join M-KOPA Solar for a period of three to six months, sharing knowledge and skills in their areas of specialization, and benefitting from new skills, experiences and relationships during their tenure at the solar technology company.

According to Jesse Moore, CEO – M-KOPA Solar, “The off-grid market is rapidly changing as consumers get affordable power for the first time. This is opening up a new market for transformational services. We need smart partnerships between parallel industries to make these a reality. Our talent MOU with Safaricom is a natural next step on the back of our long-standing collaborations on technology and distribution,”

The mutual talent exchange programme will be need-based and will focus on the various areas in which both companies feel there is need to build capacity.

Safaricom currently has an existing talent exposure partnership with Vodafone Group’s Samaran Programme, which has so far seen a number of employees take up temporary posts in India, Qatar, South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania.

The partnership with M-KOPA Solar intends to borrow from best practices learned through the Vodafone programme and open up channels through which Safaricom can collaborate with more local companies.

Speaking during the MoU signing, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said: “This agreement is the outcome of several discussions we’ve had over the past couple of months, and positions us both to learn from each other and leverage on our relationship to grow. I’m a strong believer in the value of partnerships for mutual benefit, and for the overall benefit of the customers we serve.”

He added: “Today, thanks to M-KOPA Solar’s vision, over 400,000 homes in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are enjoying the benefits of solar power. They are transforming lives, and it is an honour for us to be a partner on their journey.”

Last year Safaricom was named African Employer of Choice 2015 for the Leadership and Management as well as Corporate Social Responsibility categories, at in the first ever Careers In Africa Employer of Choice Awards. The company is seeking to bolster its talent identification, nurturing, management and sharing initiatives, as the competition for highly skilled talent becomes fiercer.