Safaricom, a leading mobile network operator in East Africa, recently received a mobile money license to launch M-PESA in Ethiopia.
The company had previously expressed its desire to offer its revolutionary money remittance services in Ethiopia but was limited by legal regulations.
However, the release of a new bill in April opened the doors for foreign investors to provide mobile money services, paving the way for Safaricom’s official approval.
According to Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, “As of this morning, Safaricom Ethiopia has officially been granted the license to operate mobile money. The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) will be making the official announcement.”
This license allows Safaricom to compete with Ethio Telecom, the state-owned telecommunication provider, and provide financial services to millions of Ethiopians.
The NBE is committed to promoting financial innovation and inclusion in Ethiopia. With a population of more than 100 million people, Ethiopia presents an enormous potential market for mobile network operators like Safaricom.
Ethio Telecom currently has more than 50 million subscribers, while Safaricom has already garnered 2.8 million users since starting its operations in Ethiopia earlier this year.
With its revolutionary mobile money service, M-PESA, Safaricom hopes to tap into the untapped potential of Ethiopia’s financial market, providing millions of unbanked people with a reliable and secure platform for money remittance.
The license granted to Safaricom marks a significant milestone in the quest to expand financial inclusion in Ethiopia, and it is expected to transform the country’s mobile money landscape in the coming weeks.