Safaricom's M-Pesa mobile money service has officially launched in Ethiopia, marking a significant milestone in the Kenyan telecom giant's ambitious African expansion.
With a foothold established just last year, Safaricom has rapidly garnered over 2 million active users in Ethiopia according to Reuters and is seeking to replicate its success seen in Kenya. Since its Kenyan debut in 2007, M-Pesa has revolutionized mobile money services, expanding to multiple African nations and becoming the company's primary revenue driver.
This move follows Ethiopia's 2019 decision to open up its telecom sector, previously monopolized by state-run Ethio Telecom. As Safaricom eyes the potential of Ethiopia's youthful 120 million populace, they also brace for intense competition from Ethio Telecom, which reported a whopping 34 million subscribers for its Telebirr service.
Mobile money services are popular in East Africa, enabling customers to send and receive money and pay for goods and services.