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Safaricom launches M-PESA in Ethiopia


Safaricom has finally launched its mobile money service M-PESA in Ethiopia. The service went live on Wednesday three months after receiving the Payment Instrument Issuer License from the National Bank of Ethiopia.

The launch is a big boost for Safaricom as it seeks to expand its offering in one of Africa’s second most populous countries. 

All Safaricom Ethiopia customers are now eligible for the services offered by M-PESA and can dial *733# on their Safaricom line both for Android and IOS. The app is currently ready in 5 languages for Android devices and available on PlayStore; and will be available for IOS devices in the coming weeks.

“We are excited to go live with M-Pesa in Ethiopia and start providing Mobile Financial Services to our customers,‘’ says Stanley Njoroge, Interim CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia.

‘’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. We will continue to broaden the services our customers receive from the M-PESA platform that will improve the quality of life for our customers,’’ he added.

Safaricom Ethiopia has also secured key partnerships with Banks, recruited, trained, and onboarded M-PESA agents. 

Using M-PESA, customers can send money within the country and receive money from within the country and abroad, pay merchants, buy airtime, transfer to their bank accounts, and send money from their bank accounts to their M-PESA.

Paul Kavavu, Interim General Manager of Safaricom M-PESA Mobile Financial Services PLC said the telco is looking forward to replicating M-PESA’s success in Kenya in Ethiopia 

‘’In the coming months, we will continue to add more functions and work with all Ethiopians to jointly realize the transformative power of M-PESA.” 

With a population of more than 100 million people, Ethiopia is indeed a highly promising market for M-PESA. Ethio Telecom, the country’s largest operator has over 50 million subscribers.  By mid-March, Safaricom Ethiopia had grown its customer numbers to 2.8 million users. 

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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 nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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