Safaricom has expanded to 26 cities in Ethiopia, barely a month since its commercial launch.
The telco switched on its network and services in the capital Addis Ababa following successful trials in 10 other cities on October 7 in an event witnessed by President William Ruto and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Safaricom Ethiopia also announced plans to roll out M-Pesa services in the landlocked nation.
In 2021, as part of plans to revamp the telecommunications sector, Ethiopia issued a tender to award two licenses to private telecommunication operators.
One license was awarded to a consortium led by Safaricom, which offered $850 million and promised to invest $8.5 million over 10 years.
Speaking during the firm’s half-year result, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said the Ethiopian entity generated Sh98.3 million in the first month of operation.
Safaricom Ethiopia’s service revenue for the period ended September 30 was Sh9.1 million.
Although the firm’s entry in Ethiopia dented its bottom line, shrinking net profits by 10 per cent to Sh33.5 billion, Ndegwa is hopeful of better results once M-Pesa services begin.
“We have invested $598 million in Ethiopia. We are happy that the Ebiy’s administration has allowed M-Pesa services expected to boost commercial efforts, with a greater focus on driving financial inclusion and digital acceleration for the people,” Ndegwa said.