Addis Ababa,(Ethiopia Today) June 10,2023:- Globally recognized association representing mobile network operators worldwide, GSMA has recently released a report titled “Mobile Money in Ethiopia: Advancing Financial Inclusion and Driving Growth,” offering valuable insights and predictions for the future of mobile money services in the country.
Depending on the level of adoption, mobile money usage among adults aged 18+ is projected to reach different percentages by 2030: almost 60% under the high adoption scenario, 39% under the medium adoption scenario, and 16% under the low adoption scenario.
Mobile money could also increase real GDP by 0.7% to 2.5% by 2030. In monetary terms, this translates to an equivalent of $1.5 billion to $5.3 billion in 2022 prices or 69 to 251 billion birr. Additionally, mobile money adoption could help raise tax revenue by up to 2.4% by 2030, contributing an additional accumulated tax revenue of $100 million to $300 million (5.4 to 16.3 billion birr).
Under the high adoption scenario, mobile money in Ethiopia holds significant socio-economic benefits as well. It has the potential to lift around 700,000 people out of poverty, particularly in heavily populated regions such as Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR), Amhara, and Oromia. However, the relative impacts, in terms of the percentage reduction in poverty, are reported to be pronounced in other regions such as Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.
Furthermore, mobile money adoption can act as a safety net for approximately 40% of Ethiopian households during economic shocks.
Following the liberalization process, Ethio Telecom, the previously sole mobile operator in the market, introduced its mobile money service called Telebirr in May 2021. After its launch, Telebirr experienced swift growth in subscriptions, attracting an impressive user base of 34 million individuals within its two years of operation. Another player, Safaricom, entered the market and secured a mobile money license in May 2023.