TeleBirr Mobile Money service is expected to have up to 53 million users in the country
Ethiopia on Tuesday inaugurated the country’s first Mobile Money service. It is the country’s giant state owned telecommunications service provider, Ethio Telecom, that launched the service – in a ceremonious event.
If you think about why all this celebration, said the CEO of Ethio Telecom – Firehiwot Tamiru – , “It deserves it!”
It is unique for Ethio Telecom’s 127 years of service, and was on the works for nearly two years. Firehiwot added that the Mobile Money service, TeleBirr, is created in consideration of low income earners, those who are living in the countryside as well as those who do not have any income.
Beyond being fast and easy, it is expected to minimize the need to print paper money and the spending for it.
Ethio Telecom got support from key institutions like the National Bank of Ethiopia in terms of preparing the legal framework to get license for the service. It took a lot of policy revisions, Firehiwot Tamiru said.
The company is projecting that up to 53 million Ethiopians will be Mobile Money service users in the country and the service will be available in five languages, it was added.
Top level government officials including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attended the launching ceremony in the capital Addis Ababa.
Abiy Ahmed remarked ” We launched TeleBirr Mobile Money service withstanding international pressure.” He added that the service is intended to further strengthen Ethio Telecom to emerge as a competitor in the international market.
He also said that the Mobile Money service was proposed more than ten years ago but did not succeed at that time.
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