Ethiopia’s central bank issues first foreign mobile money licence

Central bank says there is strong public demand for fintech services

Addis Ababa
Photo: Ninaras/Wikimedia

The National Bank of Ethiopia has issued Safaricom’s M-Pesa with a mobile money licence, its first to a foreign investor. 

Ethiopia, which has 65 million mobile customers, was previously a closed market dominated by state-owned Ethio Telecom’s Telebirr m-money. Telebirr, launched in May 2021, attracted 4 million users in the space of a few weeks and currently has more than 28.2 million users, according to media reports. 

“Mobile banking, mobile wallets, internet banking, and card banking” have

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