In Ethiopia, a wave of change is sweeping through the telecommunications industry. It all began with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s reforms, which began in 2018 and allowed foreign investors to enter the sector.
The arrival in Ethiopia of Safaricom, one of Africa’s most profitable telecommunications companies, signaled the start of a new era. After securing a hotly contested license, Safaricom set up shop in the county earlier this year.
While the license allowed the company to compete against the state-owned monopoly Ethio Telecom, legal restrictions prevented it from offering its revolutionary money-transfer services.
This is about to change, thanks to a bill drafted by Ethiopia’s central bank that allows foreign investors like Safaricom to offer mobile money services.