Peter Ndegwa Not Bothered By Ethiopia’s Heavy Investment, Says Market Will RoI

Safaricom has invested USD 598 Million in Ethiopia operations. Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa is clear that the financial weigh down on Safaricom Kenya and Safaricom Group following its entry in Ethiopia is nothing to worry about.

Speaking during the release of Safaricom half year financial results, the CEO said that he is excited about the entry, describing it as a well thought move by the telco. Peter Ndegwa is adamant that the market will not disappoint, reading from the current market behavior.

“We are encouraged by the early uptake of our services, great customer feedback on the quality of their data experience and the revenue contribution by the Ethiopia unit. The Government of Ethiopia has also committed to award Safaricom with the mobile money license which will boost commercial efforts, with a greater focus of driving financial inclusion and digital acceleration for the people of Ethiopia.” Said Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom PLC CEO

 Safaricom Ethiopia has so far recorded over 740,000 customers. The Service Revenue in Ethiopia for the period ended September 30th 2022 was KShs 9.1M while Total Revenue including handsets sales was KShs 98.3 million.

One month after the launch, Safaricom has recorded at least 20,000 customers joining the network daily. The Kenyan based telecommunication began its pilot services in August 2022, through September, culminating in its official launch on October 6, 2022.

 According to the telco, data usage levels recorded 711MBs per active data customer while voice usage levels recorded 30 minutes per active voice customer for the month of October. 

 Safaricom Ethiopia has three strategies; build the fastest data network in 25 cities, deliver 70 per cent distribution penetration in 25 cities and leverage on mobile money.

Following the new entry into the Ethiopian market, Safaricom will operate under;Safaricom Kenya, Safaricom Ethiopia and Safaricom Group. Safaricom Ethiopia in its initial stages now, will siphon from Safaricom Kenya in investment.

The strategic launch comes after the Ethiopian government launched Digital Ethiopia 2025 to help the country realize its digital potential and leverage technology to build a better society.

As part of that process, Safaricom Ethiopia was granted a nationwide full-service Unified Telecommunications Service Licence and is the first company in the country to launch a competitive mobile service to Ethio Telecom, which is state-owned.

Safaricom Ethiopia’s 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services are available in 11 cities, including the capital and the country’s second largest city Dire Dawa. The company plans to launch services in a total of 25 cities by April 2023 to meet the 25% population coverage obligation in its license.


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