Ethiopia’s Cashless Plans
Ethiopia’s Central Bank will allow locally-owned non-financial institutions to start offering mobile money services as it seeks to boost non-cash payments in the country. Ethiopia is in the middle of massive economic reforms including the privatization of state-owned telecommunications monopoly Ethio Telecom. The new directive would allow Ethio Telecom, as an Ethiopian-owned company, to move into mobile money. Any foreign-owned companies, however, would remain locked out, according to the new regulations. This Newsletter reported last month that Kenya’s Safaricom and South Africa’s MTN are reportedly interested in making a joint bid for a telecoms license in Ethiopia, or in buying out an Ethiopian telecoms operator which would give the access to the mobile money market.
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