Kenya’s giant telco Safaricom has formally begun operating in Ethiopia, marking the company’s first concrete step towards growth outside the country. The company launched its operations in Addis Ababa on Thursday in an event that was attended by President William Ruto.
Following the launch, Safaricom is projected to serve about 30 million people by April next year. Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa pointed out that the company’s main focus was to provide a sustainable and quality mobile network to the people of Ethiopia.
“Led by our Purpose to Transform Lives, we have deepened digital and financial inclusion in Kenya by connecting people to people, people to opportunities and people to information. With these lessons and experiences, we look forward to positively impacting the people of Ethiopia with a sustainable and quality mobile network that will be a vital launch pad for nationwide digital telecommunications services to over 118 million Ethiopians,” he said.
Following its debut in the country, Safaricom quickly began offering 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile services in 11 cities across the nation, including Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa, the second-largest city in Ethiopia. Corporate leaders who were in attendance have lauded the launch, exuding confidence that Safaricom Ethiopia would boost the country’s economy, through digital transformation.
“Ubiquitous network connectivity will positively transform the lives of Ethiopians throughout the country, notably by making various Tech for Good solutions and services available in health, education, manufacturing, agriculture and digital finance,” said Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.
By Lavin Atieno