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M-Pesa  mobile money transfer service launched 

Safaricom says it has got over 2.8 million subscribers across Ethiopia since it launched service about two years ago. The company has partnered with banks for M-Pesa service 

Safaricom M-Pesa Poster ( Source : Safaricom)

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Safaricom, the first foreign investor in the telecom industry in Ethiopia, earlier this week launched a mobile money transfer service. 

M-Pesa – which will be competing with Telebirr – Ethio-Telecom’s money transfer service with more than 30 million subscribers across the country – was reportedly in a three months trial before it was launched. 

“We are excited to go live with M-Pesa in Ethiopia and start providing Mobile Financial Services to our customers. M-Pesa is known to be a game-changer for financial inclusion and provides services to more than 51 million customers across seven countries in Africa offering a safe and secure platform for transactions,” Stanley Njoroge, Interim CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia said, as cited by FBC. 

Picture from Ethiopia’s first drone light shows (Photo : Safaricom)

Safaricom has partnered banks in Ethiopia, recruited and trained agents before launching the service- according to sources in Ethiopia.

With M-Pesa customers across Ethiopia could send or receive money or make bill payments. In addition, the service has a feature for customers to make a bank transfer. 

It was on May 11, 2023 that the National Bank of Ethiopia announced issuance of M-Pesa license for Safaricom. The company is the first foreign investor to get a license for Mobile Money transfer license. 

In an explanation to the issuance of the license, the National Bank of Ethiopia, at the time, said “The issuance of the mobile money license reflects NBE’s on going objective of fostering financial innovation and inclusion in the Ethiopian Market.”  

Safricom is Kenya’s largest telecommunications company , and also among the largest Telecom companies in Africa.  The company entered the Ethiopian market a few years ago with a US$850 million service fee to the Ethiopian government. According  to the latest reports from the company, it has nearly three million  subscribers across Ethiopia. 

The Ethiopian government recently invited interested bidders to issue another telecom license. It is expected to complete the process within six months of time. 

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