Safaricom Ethiopia gains approval to operate M-Pesa

02 November 2022

Safaricom Ethiopia has been granted a licence to operate M-Pesa mobile money services in the country after authorities confirmed that the law had been changed to allow foreign investment in mobile money services.

“A deal has been reached between the government of Ethiopia and Safaricom to grant a licence for mobile money services to Safaricom,” said Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide.

Previously, only Ethio Telecom had been allowed to offer its Telebirr mobile money service. The development has been welcomed by the World Bank and Kenya’s government, which have attempted to convince Ethiopia to open up its mobile money market. In May 2021, the World Bank said it planned to invest US$200 million in Ethiopia’s telecommunications industry but wanted the government to open the market.