Santiago Jimenez, Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Amadeus IT Group shares his insights.
As Professor Linda Scott, DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford said, “Over the recent decades the private sector has grown exponentially compared to the traditional aid providers. Corporations have the means to make a difference. We are cheating ourselves if we don’t recognise this reality and work with it.”
In Sub-Saharan Africa, we’ve taken Professor Scott’s motivational words to heart and realise that true long term business sustainability requires not only considering commercial needs, but to also make a positive impact socially.
As a result, our social responsibility projects are centred primarily on using technology, travel and tourism to improve the quality of life for people with limited resources in the communities across Sub-Saharan Africa. Our people across the region are using their knowledge and skills to give back to the communities where we have a commercial presence.
One such example is how Amadeus East Africa has teamed up with the non-profit Global Travel & Tourism Partnership (GTTP) Kenya for tourism education in public schools. Amadeus is a founding member of GTTP, a travel-industry supported programme and non-profit educational foundation that teaches young people about the travel and tourism industry and its career opportunities.
In Nigeria, Amadeus collaborates with the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre to empower girls and women socially and economically using information and communication technologies. This is carried out through projects and workshops, which help to build technology skills and literacy among women. In the training sessions in 2013, the beneficiaries were given career mentoring and sessions on how technology intersects with travel.
Back in 2012, students at Mnazi Mmoja Primary School were the happy recipients of PCs as part of Tanzania’s commemoration of the Amadeus 25th Anniversary and were given classes on internet usage. The school has since invested in a computer lab and now offers computer classes as part of its curriculum – with continuing support from Amadeus.
By using our core business combined with our people and culture, I believe we can make a difference. Our teams within the region are working on new initiatives by drawing on our business strengths to better empower disadvantaged communities so we can shape a sustainable future of travel together.