Safaricom and other major technology companies joined an initiative for disability inclusion, in an effort to boost innovation in the accessible world and help advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Named The Valuable 500, the initiative also added automobile manufacturer Audi, IT service management company CGI IT UK, Mastercard, Sky and hotel booking website Trivago to its ranks.

Interim Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph (pictured) explained the Kenya-headquartered operator had witnessed “first-hand the disproportionate effects of inequality and poverty on people with disability”.

He highlighted the operator’s commitment to drive the disability inclusion agenda in the communities it serves, in alignment with the SDGs.

More than 250 companies, including operators BT, NTT Docomo, O2 UK, Orange, Telefonica, Beeline, and Vodafone Group support The Valuable 500 campaign, which aims to sign up 500 global business leaders and CEOs before the UN General Assembly in mid-September.

The Valuable 500’s founder Caroline Casey called for the technology sector to prioritise inclusion for the 1.3 billion disabled people worldwide.

Casey argued the industry had the potential to be among “the greatest enablers when it comes to disability inclusion, from ensuring accessibility on all devices and online platforms is made readily available to all disability categories, to actively embracing the positive potential of incorporating neurodiversity into the talent pool, and it’s vital this potential is realised”.