Ethiopia: M-Pesa Partners with Onafriq for International Money Transfers to Ethiopia

M-Pesa Partners with Onafriq for International Money Transfers to Ethiopia
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Safaricom’s M-Pesa has forged a significant partnership with digital payments network Onafriq to facilitate streamlined remittance flows to Ethiopia.

This international money transfer agreement allows Safaricom customers in Ethiopia to receive remittances from various parts of the world through M-Pesa. The authorization for this service was granted to Safaricom by the National Bank of Ethiopia in July 2023.

Onafriq, operating in 40 African countries, stands as the continent’s largest digital payments network, facilitating domestic and cross-border disbursements and collections, card issuing and processing, agency banking, and treasury services. With connectivity to 500 million mobile money wallets and 200 million bank accounts, Onafriq’s extensive reach enhances financial accessibility across Africa.

Paul Kavavu, General Manager at Safaricom Ethiopia, expressed the significance of this partnership, stating, “Our goal is to make payments easier, and the incorporation of international money transfer services into M-Pesa serves that purpose perfectly. Ethiopia generates more than five billion USD in remittances annually, and this partnership will provide the Ethiopian diaspora with an easy and fast formal channel to send money to their loved ones in Ethiopia.”

Nika Naghavi, Group Head of Growth at Onafriq, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the positive impact of the partnership on economic growth and the attainment of sustainable development goals. “The agreement with M-Pesa Safaricom extends our reach in Africa even further and strengthens our position as the largest payment network on the continent,” Naghavi remarked.

The introduction of this service aligns with Ethiopia’s efforts to boost foreign currency inflows through formal channels, contributing to the country’s economic development initiatives.

Safaricom Ethiopia, having obtained a Payment Instrument Issuer License from the National Bank of Ethiopia in May 2023, commenced operations in August 2023. This collaboration between M-Pesa and Onafriq marks a significant milestone in enhancing financial inclusivity and facilitating efficient cross-border remittances to Ethiopia.

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