Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ethiopia looking at mobile money

(Oct 13, 2012, ADDIS ABABA)--As one of the fastest growing economies globally, Ethiopia’s ministry of communications and technology is looking to boost the country’s potential with a cashless banking system. Ethiopia is expected to hit the 7 percent mark in growth this year and Addis Ababa believes that they can go over the 10 percent growth annually in the near future. One of the ways to continue to boost the country’s economy is by moving it towards a cashless one, the ministry said.

Although mobile penetration is increasing, there are worries that without a higher penetration level, especially in rural areas, the country’s idea of mobile money could fall on deaf ears. But Internet services are getting boosts with new networks, which leaves the government hopeful that by pushing a mobile money market they can also push the telecom sector forward.

“When we look at the most successful electronic payment systems, they are those that are open, completely open, and the government sets standards for how different entities can participate,” said Elizabeth Buse, Visa’s group president for Asia-Pacific, Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the company’s fastest growing geographies, in comments published by

The acquisition of phone payment company Fundamo last year was a “marker of its tech-savvy Africa expansion plans.” With companies like Visa looking to assist Ethiopia in creating a mobile market for a cashless society, the ministry believes this will make the transition easier and help create more opportunities for investment within both the telecom and banking sectors in the near future.

Their first challenge is to continue expanding the mobile market in order to create a market for the cashless payment options to be plausible.
Source: bikyamasr

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