Safaricom Ethiopia, which launched its telecommunications services in Addis Ababa on Thursday, has finally received a license to roll out M-Pesa in the populous country.
The significant agreement was brokered during a meeting in Addis Ababa between President William Ruto and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday.
The regulatory approval announced by Finance Minister Ahmed Shide paves way for Safaricom Ethiopia to establish the lucrative mobile money to the 110 million population.
Safaricom, in the year ended March 2022, announced it had raked in Sh50 billion in profit before tax on M-Pesa platform alone on the back of growing adoption in the last two years.
“Joined Ethiopia Prime Minister @AbiyAhmedAli in the launch of Safaricom in Ethiopia, Friendship Park, Addis Ababa; we congratulate Safaricom for being authorised to run mobile money in Ethiopia,” President Ruto tweeted on Thursday evening.
Ethiopia’s central bank in April revealed that it had prepared a Bill that would see Safaricom and other foreign investors permitted to roll out mobile money services in the country.
Previously, Ethiopian regulations only permitted locally owned non-financial institutions to offer such services locking out Safaricom and other foreign entities that are interested.
Earlier on Thursday morning, Safaricom Ethiopia was officially launched by switching on its mobile telecommunications network and services in Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa.
Ruto, Abiy joined Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, his Safaricom Ethiopia colleague Anwar Soussa and other stakeholders for the Safaricom Ethiopia official launch at Friendship Park.