Safaricom Launch in Ethiopia Expands to New City


This week, Safaricom kicked off operations in Ethiopia.

The operations, which start as a pilot for residents in the city of Dire Dawa, are laying for the commercial launch of telco services in the country next month (October 2022).

The commercial launch will arrive a couple of months late because the official unveiling of Safaricom Ethiopia carrier services was supposed to go live way earlier.

Now, the operator has expanded beyond Dire Dawa to Harari region. This marks a plan that the telco had laid down, that it would be launching services city to city in the lucrative Ethiopian market that has more than 110 million people, and had been served by state-owned Ethio Telecoms only. By April 2023, the telco will be serving 25 cities.

Similar to the announcement and launch made at Dire Dawa, residents in Harari will be able to buy SIM cards and pick a number of their choosing starting with the 07 prefix.

The SIM cards will offer access to data, voice, and SMS. Customers will also be able to purchase airtime. They will also be able to make international phone calls.

To note, the bought SIM cards are furnished with a free welcome package that can be replenished via airtime purchases upon exhaustion.

Besides the branded shops and souks, two shops in Arategna, and Sellassie areas will be open to the public for registration purposes, purchase of devices, and dedicated customer support.

Customers will also have the option of accessing customer care services from the call centre in their preferred language (Amharic, Afaan Oromo, Af-Somali, Tigrigna, and English), by dialing 700 to speak to the customer experience agents.

“Harari holds great historic relevance in Ethiopia, and we are excited to roll out our customer pilot for Safaricom Ethiopia’s network and services in this region. We thank the Government of Ethiopia; the President and Regional Government of Harari; the Ethiopian Communications Authority; network, IT, and distribution partners; community leaders; and all stakeholders for all their support towards realizing this and future milestones. | look forward to sharing further updates, as we extend the network and customer pilot across other regions.” said Anwar Soussa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom Ethiopia.

Safaricom, among its partners (Vodacom Group, Sumitomo Corporation, and CDC Group all named Global Partnership for Ethiopia (GPE)), acquired an operating license for the Ethiopian market back in July 2021.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]