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Safaricom to launch commercial operations in Ethiopia this year


Safaricom is set to launch commercial operations in Ethiopia within the year. Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa confirmed this while releasing the telco’s Full Year 2021/2022 results released last week.

In readiness for the commercial launch, Safaricom Ethiopia has recruited a team of over 300 staff, of which 50% is local talent, with plans of reaching 1,000 in the next financial year. The business also has onboarded distributors, secured four retail shop locations and set up the first outsourced call centre in Addis Ababa.

Safaricom Ethiopia has also secured approvals for towers development, built two data centres, made the first test call, sent out the first test SMS and completed the first data session.

“We have made significant progress towards a commercial launch. We are engaging with the Ethiopian Communications Authority and other relevant partners about the requirements for ensuring a commercial launch this year,” Mr Ndegwa said.

Mr Ndegwa said Safaricom Ethiopia plans to bring mobile financial services to Ethiopia. However, this is subject to the licensing and regulatory process by the Government of Ethiopia.

Last month, Ethiopia started changing its national payments law to clear the way for Safaricom to introduce M-Pesa in the country.

Safaricom set shop in Ethiopia earlier this year after securing a much-hunted license. While the license allowed the company to compete against state monopoly Ethio Telecom, it couldn’t offer M-Pesa services due to legal limitations.

Safaricom Full Year 2021/2022 results

Safaricom increased its Service Revenue by 12.3% to KES 281.11 Billion and Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) by 13.5% to KES 109.13 Billion. Voice service revenue grew by 0.8% to KES 83.21 Billion; mobile data revenue grew by 8.1% to KES 48.44 Billion, while M-PESA revenue grew by 30.3% to KES 107.69 Billion.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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