Safaricom is set to launch commercial operations in Ethiopia within the year as part of the company’s regional expansion efforts to provide world-class telecommunication services to over 112 million Ethiopians. The telecommunication company says it has recruited over 300 staff, of which 50% are local talent, with plans of reaching 1,000 in the next financial year. The business also has onboarded distributors, secured four retail shop locations, and set up the first outsourced call center in Addis Ababa. Safaricom Ethiopia plans to bring mobile financial services to Ethiopia. However, this is subject to the licensing and regulatory process by the Government of Ethiopia.
“We have made significant progress towards a commercial launch. We are engaging with the Ethiopian Communications Authority and other relevant partners about the requirements for ensuring a commercial launch this year,” Mr. Ndegwa said during the announcement of the Full Year 2021/2022 results on 12th May which saw net income increase by 5.4% to KES 72.35 Billion for Safaricom Kenya and declined 1.7% to KES 67.50 Billion including the impact of KES 4.66 Billion financing costs for the Ethiopia business.
Safaricom increased its Service Revenue by 12.3% to KES 281.11 Billion and Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) by 13.5% to KES 109.13 Billion. Voice service revenue grew by 0.8% to KES 83.21 Billion; mobile data revenue grew by 8.1% to KES 48.44 Billion, while M-PESA revenue grew by 30.3% to KES 107.69 Billion.
M-PESA, which marked its 15th anniversary this year, hit the 30 million active customer mark in Kenya. A significant sign of M-PESA’s progress was the 63.4% growth of Lipa na M-PESA merchants to just below 500,000. M-PESA now has over 3.2 million businesses accepting payments under its portfolio, while the M-PESA business app has about 100,000 active businesses.