Safaricom is all set to expand its horizons and launch the popular M-Pesa mobile money service in Ethiopia. Following the granting of an operating license to the telco by Ethiopian authorities, Safaricom’s parent company, Vodacom Group Limited, revealed the ambitious plan in a recent trading update. The move aims to boost revenue for its Ethiopian operations and contribute to its goal of achieving profitability by 2027.
Safaricom’s Progress in Ethiopia
Since the commercial launch of Safaricom Ethiopia in October 2022, the company has been making significant strides in the Ethiopian market. Already reaching an impressive milestone of 2.7 million customers, Safaricom is on track to achieve further growth and impact in the region. The telco’s commitment to expanding its services and offerings in Ethiopia has been met with enthusiasm and positive reception.
The First Foreign-Owned Entity with a Mobile Money Service License
In May, Safaricom’s consortium made history by becoming the first foreign-owned entity to receive a mobile money service license in Ethiopia. This landmark achievement came after paying a substantial $150 million (equivalent to Sh21.3 billion at the current exchange rates) as permit fees to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), the country’s banking sector regulator. The NBE welcomed this move towards digital financial services, recognizing the potential to bring greater efficiency, safety, and transparency to Ethiopia’s rapidly growing financial system.
The Rollout Plan and Future Prospects
With the license approval received in October 2022, Safaricom’s parent company, Vodacom, has revealed plans to launch the M-Pesa mobile money service in Ethiopia before the end of the current quarter in September. This strategic move is expected to further solidify Safaricom’s position in the Ethiopian market and drive growth in its Ethiopian operations revenue. Moreover, the successful introduction of M-Pesa in Ethiopia aligns with Safaricom’s broader vision to achieve profitability by 2027.
Safaricom’s expansion into Ethiopia marks a significant milestone for the telecommunications industry and the mobile financial services sector in the region. With the imminent launch of the M-Pesa mobile money service in Ethiopia, Safaricom is poised to bring its renowned and transformative financial platform to millions of Ethiopians. As the company continues to make headway in Ethiopia’s market, it is likely to create new opportunities for growth and positively impact the lives of customers with efficient, secure, and transparent digital financial services.