Safaricom’s M-Pesa launches in Ethiopia

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile money service on Wednesday launched in Ethiopia as part of its efforts to spur growth in one of Africa’s largest economies.

“M-Pesa is known to be a game-changer for financial inclusion,” Safaricom Ethiopia’s interim CEO, Stanley Njoroge said.
“We will continue to broaden the services our customers receive from the M-Pesa platform.”

Over 2 million active users have joined Safaricom’s voice and broadband network, which was launched in the Horn of Africa nation last year and is partially owned by South Africa’s Vodacom and Britain’s Vodafone.

M-Pesa was introduced by Safaricom to Kenya in 2007. The service, which is also provided in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Tanzania, has developed into the business’s major revenue generator.

After the government liberalised the telecom market in Ethiopia in 2019, Safaricom became the country’s first commercial telecom carrier. Previously, the market was dominated by the state-owned Ethio Telecom.

The company is placing its bet on Ethiopia, which has a population of almost 120 million people and is among the youngest in Africa, to continue driving growth for many years to come.

Ethio Telecom, whose profits more than doubled in its most recent fiscal year, will present the company with fierce competition. For its mobile money service Telebirr, Ethio Telecom reported having more than 34 million members as of July.

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