Safaricom granted mobile money license to launch M-Pesa in Ethiopia

Safaricom has announced that it has officially been granted a mobile money license to launch M-PESA in Ethiopia.

Since launching in the country, Safaricom had made its intentions clear about launching M-Pesa in the country. While the initial license allowed the company to compete against state monopoly Ethio Telecom, it couldn’t offer its revolutionary money-remittance services due to legal limitations.

This however changed after in April,  Ethiopia’s Central Bank drafted a Bill that opened the door for foreign investors such as Safaricom to offer mobile money services.

“We are excited that this is a great milestone following our entry into Ethiopia. This positions us to provide essential financial services to the Ethiopian population. We are looking forward to launch and roll out the service over the next few months.” Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom PLC CEO said during the announcement of the Full Year 2022/2023 results. 

The license means Safaricom will now roll out its mobile money service M-Pesa in Ethiopia in the coming weeks.

NBE says the issuance reflects its ongoing objectives of fostering financial innovation and inclusion in the Ethiopian market.

With a population of more than 100 million people, Ethiopia is indeed a highly promising market for Safaricom. Ethio Telecom, the country’s largest operator has over 50 million subscribers.  

In the period under review, Safaricom Ethiopia added close to 3 million customers and built a distributor network of over 114 outlets, delivered an award-winning premium quality network in 22 cities and regions; with close to 1300 network sites and over 900 staff, 81% of whom are Ethiopians.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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