Safaricom in 'advanced talks' to take M-Pesa to Ethiopia

Tuesday July 17 2018

A client using a mobile money service M-Pesa.  PHOTO FILE | NATION

A client using a mobile money service M-Pesa. The Kenyan telco is gearing up for its venture to neighbouring Ethiopia. PHOTO FILE | NATION 

By REUTERS
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Kenya’s telco giant Safaricom is in “advanced talks” with the Ethiopian government to introduce its popular M-Pesa mobile money service to neighbouring Ethiopia, a market of 100 million people, two sources said on Tuesday.

Britain’s Vodafone, Safaricom’s parent company, will license the use of the M-Pesa trade name to an Ethiopia-based bank while Safaricom will host the servers in Nairobi, one telecoms industry source told Reuters.

Ethiopia’s state telecommunications monopoly, Ethio telecom, will carry the service, the source added. Started in 2007, M-Pesa has nearly 30 million users in Kenya.