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PARTNERSHIP | M-PESA Ethiopia and DahabShiil, Africa’s Oldest Remittance Operator, Reach an Agreement to Enable Remittances from the Diaspora

Through a cooperation between Safaricom Ethiopia’s M-PESA and East African money transfer service DahabShiil, Ethiopians living abroad will be able to send money straight to M-PESA mobile wallets. Through the agreement, remittances from the diaspora to Ethiopia would be made easier, resulting in speedier payments and more security. Founded in 1970 as a remittance enterprise to assist migrants to send money to family and friends back in the countries of East Africa, DahabShiil is one of the oldest remittance operators on the continent.

The company has expanded to become the biggest money transfer provider in Africa, and 150 nations around the world—51 of which are in Africa—can use its services. In addition to private clients, it provides services to global institutions like Save the Children, Oxfam, the World Bank, and the United Nations.

Ethiopia’s country representative in Dahabshiil, Musse Mohamed, said in a statement, “We are delighted we have partnered with Safaricom’s M-PESA Ethiopia, giving our diaspora customers another channel to send money there, further enabling them to support their loved ones.”

The largest economy in East Africa, Ethiopia, is home to over 3 million users of M-PESA, which launched its services there in August 2023. As of December 31, 2023, the company has over 26,400 M-PESA agents and over 43,100 merchants.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Dahabshiil, a prominent participant in global money transfers. “We have a common goal of promoting financial inclusion and advancing economic growth,” stated Anthony Kang’ethe, acting Chief Digital Finance Officer of M-PESA.

The parent company of M-PESA, Safaricom, became one of the first significant players in Ethiopian commerce after Abiy Ahmed’s government started to liberalise the country’s economy in October 2022.

Since then, M-PESA’s integration with multiple local institutions has resulted in increased connections within the financial sector.

Recently, the Ethiopian cabinet also adopted two significant regulations, one of which calls for the introduction of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and is expected to further liberalise and modernise the nation’s financial sector.

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