Atlas Tower Kenya to invest US$48.9m on 4G towers installation

KENYA – Telecommunications infrastructure firm Atlas Tower Kenya is investing US$48.9 million to install 4G towers, targeting mobile network operators Safaricom, Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya, reports Business Daily. The telcos are in a race to cover most of the country with the fourth generation (4G) broadband cellular technology to attract and retain subscribers using smartphones. Atlas, owned by Kalahari Capital LLC and Adrian Group Limited, will fund part of the investment using loans from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). “The total project cost is estimated at US$48.9 million (Sh5.4…

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Vodacom eyeing additional stake in Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA – Vodacom Group has signed a deal that could see it buy an additional 10.9 percent stake in Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia from UK’s sovereign wealth fund CDC Group at a cost of US$1.74 billion in the coming years. The deal, if completed, will raise Vodacom’s interest in the newly formed telco to 17.1 percent. The South African telco currently owns a 6.2 percent stake in the Ethiopian firm through the Netherlands-registered investment vehicle Vodafamily Ethiopia Holding Company. “As part of the transaction agreements, Vodacom has granted a put option…

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Africa’s largest fintech M-Pesa hits 50 million active users in the continent

KENYA – Leading mobile money payment service M-Pesa has reached 50 million active monthly customers cementing its position as Africa’s largest fintech. The milestone comes 14 years since the launch of the service in Kenya and nearly two years since the launch of the M-Pesa Africa Joint Venture. Safaricom pioneered the person-to-person money transfer service in March 2007, which has since grown to a lucrative platform also offering customer-to-business and business-to-customer services. M-Pesa today has a presence in Uganda, Tanzania, Lesotho, DRC, Egypt, and Ghana.  Safaricom and Vodafone jointly launched…

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Safaricom Ethiopia in staff recruitment drive as it gears up for launch

ETHIOPIA – Safaricom Ethiopia has announced a countrywide staff recruitment drive in Ethiopia as it gears up for commercial launch. The telcos Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa said that they have also made some critical steps towards getting their foundation ready for commercial operations including plans to hire and train local Ethiopians to various opportunities. Ndegwa said they have committed to recruit 150 diverse graduates a year for the next three years. Speaking during a media conference, CEO Peter Ndegwa said Safaricom is looking forward to working and serving with the…

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Nokia, Safaricom and UNICEF partner to connect schools to the internet across Kenya

KENYA – Nokia has come together with multiple stakeholders, including Safaricom, UNICEF and the Kenyan Ministries of Education and ICT, to connect close to 90 schools to the Internet in Kenya. Both rural and disadvantaged urban settlements have benefitted from the initiative, which also supports digitization and digital literacy and the initiative aims to ‘connect the unconnected, with the ultimate goal of supporting the Kenyan Government’s plans to scale broadband connection to all schools by 2030. The connected schools are spread across rural and informal urban settlements in Kenya, serving…

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Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia gets nod for mobile money expansion

ETHIOPIA – Safaricom has been given the green light to introduce its popular M-Pesa in the market of 110 million people after Ethiopian authorities decided to include the mobile phone-based financial services in the telco’s licence offered in May 2021. Ethiopian authorities told Kenya’s Business Daily that the Safaricom licence will be upgraded to include mobile financial service when it completes bidding for its second telecoms operator permit. The bidding will be opened in August 2021. A consortium led by Safaricom secured the first licence, which does not have a…

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Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia granted operator license

ETHIOPIA – The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) has announced that Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC has been issued with a final licence even as reports surface that over half of the winning consortium’s financing could be in doubt due to US sanctions. The ECA awarded the final licence “following the incorporation of the local company and business registration by the Global Partnership for Ethiopia” (GPE Consortium). The Safaricom-led consortium received a designated licence in May 2021 after winning the bid and was given 45 days to register a local company. “The…

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Global Partnership for Ethiopia taps Vodacom DRC chief Anwar Soussa as Managing Director

ETHIOPIA – The Global Partnership for Ethiopia (GPE) has appointed Anwar Soussa as the Managing Director of the Operating Company in Ethiopia, effective July 1, 2021. He will report to the Board of the Ethiopia entity and Safaricom PLC Chief Executive Officer. Anwar is currently the Managing Director of Vodacom Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Chairperson of Vodacash (M-PESA), a position he has held since 2017. He has cemented Vodacom DRC as the largest Vodacom operation outside of South Africa by driving major strides in operational performance, crossing…

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Safaricom unveils M-Pesa Super App as it ‘redefines the future of money’

KENYA – Telecommunications service provider Safaricom, has launched the M-Pesa Super App with Mini Apps to usher in a new way to experience money. The virtual launch took place on June 23, 2021, via YouTube on the Safaricom official channel. The Mini Apps enable customers and Lipa Na M-Pesa Businesses to Shop, Interact with Suppliers and accomplish hundreds of tasks within the M-Pesa Super App.  The occasion was graced by Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa and M-Pesa Africa Chief Executive Officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit. In March 2007, Safaricom launched M-Pesa, an innovative payment service…

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Safaricom consortium gets license by communication authority to enter Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA – The Ethiopian government has granted the Ethiopian Communication Authority permission to grant a license to Global Partnership for Ethiopia, a consortium led by Safaricom and consisting of Vodafone, Vodacom, Safaricom, and Sumitomo Corporation. The consortium will pay US$850 million for the license and will spend US$8.5 billion. MTN, the other competitor, bid US$600 million but did not receive the license. Making up the winning consortium is Vodafone, a British multinational telecommunications firm which has partnered with Vodacom, Safaricom, CDC Group, and Sumitomo Corporation. “We will soon open a…

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