Safaricom has formally made inquiries about the possibility of launching its mobile-based money transfer services, M-Pesa, in Ethiopia and the additional license fee that will be required.
Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom's CEO, has told investors that he has written to Ethiopian Telecommunications Authority inquiring for clarifications regarding what will be required of Safaricom Ethiopia so it will be able to provide mobile money services.
“The letter has gone in. We are currently awaiting response from the Ethiopian authorities,” Peter Ndegwa said. “Our understanding is we will be allowed to operate mobile money, but there are certain conditions that the government will be confirming to us including potentially some additional fee."
The move has been taken as indicative that Safaricom's Ethiopia quest has not been weakened by the current security situation in some parts of the country.
“The investment in Ethiopia is a long-term play. Our hope is that this matter would be resolved in a speedy and peaceful way,” the CEO remarked.
Safaricom views Ethiopia as having a great potential for M-Pesa services, having over 50 million phone subscribers.
Source: The Standard, Kenya