Addis Ababa; 28 November 2023

    Safaricom M-PESA Mobile Financial Services PLC and Chapa Financial Technologies Share Company have entered into a partnership agreement to provide M-PESA services for entrepreneurs, businesses, and government services on Chapa’s payment aggregator platform.

    The partnership aims to boost the ease of transactions for both merchants and M-PESA customers in the Ethiopian market.

    Through this agreement, merchants using Chapa’s payment gateway system can receive payments from Safaricom M-PESA customers. Simultaneously, M-PESA customers can make quick and secure payments to merchants on Chapa’s checkout.

    “Chapa is one of the rapidly growing payment system operators in Ethiopia and partnering with them complements our goal of making M-PESA available everywhere. The digitization process in Ethiopia has picked up momentum and such partnerships further enhance the ease with which people make their transactions,” stated Paul Kavavu, General Manager of Safaricom M-PESA Mobile Financial Services PLC.

    Chapa, on the other hand, sees this partnership as an opportunity to expand its customer base and provide a broader range of payment solutions to its merchants. Moreover, becoming a merchant with Chapa involves a streamlined, fully online onboarding process, ensuring ease and convenience every step of the way.

    “M-PESA has been received warmly here in Ethiopia as demonstrated by its onboarding of over a million customers in its first three months. Partnering with them allows merchants using our payment gateway to easily transact with this rapidly growing customer base. Therefore, the partnership helps both parties grow together while empowering entrepreneurs and businesses,” remarked Chapa’s Co-Founder and CEO, Nael Hailemariam.

    Safaricom M-PESA and Chapa are committed to providing efficient and accessible payment solutions to users. The partnership is expected to create more opportunities for customers of both M-PESA and Chapa, ultimately leading to a better customer experience and more significant progress towards financial inclusion.

    3 November 2023, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC and the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA) signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work together in improving the doing business environment in the technology and communications sub-sector; facilitate the exchange of information about tech-based companies, products and service, trade and investment; develop position papers and documents to engage public authorities with the aim of removing constraints affecting their respective business development.

    The agreement opens the door for Safaricom Ethiopia to design a resource mobilization technical solution for the Chamber’s HQ building; develop and install a Safaricom-powered payment system for collection of members’ fees; host AACCSA’s official website; lead, support and manage AACCSA’s cloud-based services system; and collaborate, install, and implement mobile apps, SMS and call center technologies to Addis Chamber services. The AACCSA will support Safaricom Ethiopia’s objective of upgrading the technology-based communication infrastructure of the Association and its members.

    “Addis Ababa is an economic capital of Ethiopia. As a representative of the business community in the city, we are glad to have signed this MoU with the association as a step to strategically work with them. We are honored to be given the opportunity to contribute to the digitization of businesses and transformation lives for a more connected future,” says Chris Lazarus, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Safaricom Ethiopia.

    “The agreement provides us with an opportunity to partner with a technology company in modernizing our services and those of our members’. Our Chamber strongly believes in the power of ICT to transform businesses and this agreement is yet another effort to push for the modernization and digitization of businesses in Addis Ababa,” said Shibeshi Bettemariam, Secretary General of AACCSA.

    The MoU also creates a platform for both parties to design and organize joint Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs that will enable further betterment of the lives of the community at large.

    Addis Ababa, 27 October 2023

    Safaricom M-PESA Mobile Financial Services PLC, a subsidiary of Safaricom Ethiopia, and Zemen Bank are excited to announce a new partnership for a super agency, retail agency, and mobile banking services. This collaboration aims to bring better financial services to customers in Ethiopia by establishing a strong network of agencies and offering advanced mobile banking solutions.

    Since the beginning of M-PESA mobile money operations in early August 2023, Safaricom M-PESA is collaborating with various government agencies and financial institutions to provide digital financial services. Going forward all M-PESA agents and customers across Ethiopia will be able to deposit and withdraw cash at any Zemen Bank branch. In addition, Zemen Bank customers can easily manage their finances using Zemen Bank's mobile banking services through USSD (*844#) and mobile app with their Safaricom 07 line; allowing them to transfer money between their bank account and M-PESA wallet, pay bills, check balances, buy airtime, and access other mobile banking services.

    Safaricom customers can visit any Zemen Bank branch with their valid ID card to integrate their Zemen account.

    “We are excited to partner with Zemen bank, combining forces to redefine banking across the country, revolutionizing traditional banking practices and paving the way for a more interconnected future that will enhance financial services in Ethiopia. By leveraging the Bank’s experiences and understanding of the financial sector, we will contribute our share; empowering our customers with seamless access to banking and mobile financial solutions, driving digital inclusion, and transforming lives." - Paul Kavavu, Chief Digital Financial Services Officer of Safaricom Ethiopia.

    “Zemen Bank is known for its technologically innovative services and unmatched customer service in the industry. Our bank will continue embarking on innovative financial services as it has done in the past with the aim of benefiting its customers and play a key role in providing digital services in the financial sector. The bank has also been giving services backed by state-of-the-art technology and multi-channel platforms to customer in a bundled digital channel called Omni- channel which includes ATM, PoS, Internet banking, Mobile Banking and E-Commerce. We believe this agreement will contribute to a significant value to the realization of Digitalizing Ethiopia”, said Mr.Dereje Zenebe- CEO of Zemen Bank.

    This partnership will improve customer accessibility and convenience while also serving as a foundation for future collaboration. The agreement opens the way for the development of Safaricom M-PESA and Zemen Bank's digitization initiatives, thereby contributing to the country's digital financial inclusion agenda.

    Wim Vanhelleputte

    Wim Vanhelleputte is the CEO of Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC, a purpose-led technology and communication company committed to contributing to Ethiopia’s digital transformation and inclusion objectives.

    Since taking the helm on 01 September 2023, Wim is responsible for steering the Safaricom Ethiopia team towards a profound mission – the transformation of lives through a digital future for all Ethiopians.

    Wim has gained deep industry knowledge through his extensive leadership experience over the past 25 years in the telecommunications industry, serving in multiple markets across Sub-Saharan Africa.

    In his most recent role, Wim served as the Operations Executive Markets at MTN Group where he orchestrated the performance and governance of four MTN operating companies across West and Central Africa. Prior to this role, he held the position of Chief Executive Officer at MTN Uganda, where he spearheaded the strong recovery of the company, through double digit year on year revenue growth, increasing margins, and transforming the brand’s perception from old and tired to young and dynamic.

    Wim's dynamic journey through the telecommunications landscape also saw him assume the mantle of CEO at MTN Côte d'Ivoire for more than six years. He transformed the company from a GSM only operator into the number one fully integrated telecom player in Côte d'Ivoire following the successful launch of mobile money, mobile data and FTTx. Throughout his career, he has held executive positions, including Chief Executive Officer at Sentel GSM in Senegal, Managing Director of TchadMobile in Chad, and General Manager at Telcel Gabon.

    He began his career as an Associate Engineer at Westinghouse Energy Systems Europe in the Czech Republic, before venturing into diverse global roles at Siemens Atea, including Project Engineer in Zimbabwe and Residential Project Manager in Gabon.

    His academic prowess matches Wim’s professional achievements, with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Nuclear and Solid-State Physics, both conferred by the State University of Ghent, Belgium. He also holds a Special Degree in Power Plant Management from the Free University of Brussels.

    Wim’s leadership journey is a testament to his unwavering dedication to advancing the telecommunications industry and fostering digital transformation for communities across Africa.

    Wim is happily married with two children.

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