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Ethiopia: Safaricom services will be available to 25% of the population by April 2023

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Digital Africa

By Fred Harter

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Posted on July 7, 2022 15:10

 © An investor briefing at Safaricom’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
An investor briefing at Safaricom’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Kenyan telecoms provider Safaricom will launch its Ethiopian network in the north-eastern city of Dire Dawa in August, the first stage of a phased national roll-out that will include 24 other sites by April 2023.

The staggered launch will make Safaricom’s services available to 25% of Ethiopia’s 110 million-strong population by the end of the financial year, according to Matthew Harrison-Harvey, Safaricom Ethiopia’s chief external affairs and regulatory officer.

“Of course, we want to achieve more than that, and that’s what we’re focusing on,” Matthew Harrison-Harvey told reporters in Addis Ababa. “We are starting in Dire Dawa because that’s the closest place to being ready, and then we will be opening in other cities including Addis Ababa in the next few months.”

Safaricom’s goal is for its network to cover the entire country.

Foreign investment

In May 2021, a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom paid $850m for the first-ever license to operate private telecom services in Ethiopia, the world’s last great underserved market. Plans to sell a second license were shelved amid economic uncertainty

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