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Ethio Telecom discloses that 3.6 million people have received loans through its digital financial services. The telecommunications firm announced that it has provided credit services to more than 3.6 million customers through its digital financial services platform it has in tandem with Dashen Bank and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.

The institution has recently launched a “Digital Finance Market” Solution where banks, microfinance, insurance and other institutions in the sector can use their technological capabilities to make their services accessible.

With this built platform, financial services have now been made available to more than 40 million Tele Birr customers.


  • Telecoms sector once seen as key prize in liberalisation drive
  • Regulatory environment and competition seen as concerns
  • Ethiopia suspended process for third telecoms licence last month
  • Safaricom expects to break even in Ethiopia in 2026


ADDIS ABABA, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Foreign investor interest in Ethiopia's telecoms sector is cooling, sector experts and those with knowledge of the licencing process say, pointing to a bumpy first two years operating in the country for Safaricom, the only company so far granted a licence to compete with state-owned Ethio Telecom.

Telecoms were once seen as the big prize of a drive to liberalise the economy of Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous country with around 120 million people, launched after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took power in 2018.

Ethiopia’s first personal data protection bill has received the Council of Ministers’ approval for parliamentary ratification.

The bill was among the three draft proclamations tabled for discussion at the 25th regular session of the Council of Ministers on Friday. In a statement today, the PM Office says building a legal framework consistent with international personal data protection standards will have a multitude of benefits. The legislation, it says, would help promote a culture of safeguarding individuals’ privacy and personal data administration.

Ethiopia has approved its first comprehensive proclamation to regulate the development and domestication of information technology products. Members of parliament ratified the bill, titled “Information Technology Products Security Clearance and Control Proclamation”, on Thursday. The motion to ratify the bill was presented to the parliament by the chairperson of the Technology Affairs Standing Committee Negeri Lencho.

The MP says the nation can’t isolate itself from the rest of the world in the development and adoption of information technology products. This, however, needs to have the legal framework to prevent and reduce potential risks of tech products on the well-being of citizens and national security, the chair argues.

Visa has reinforced its commitment to expanding digital payments in Ethiopia by announcing two new initiatives to help advance fintech innovation and support women-led small and medium businesses (SMBs). During a visit by the Regional President for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) Andrew Torre to Ethiopia, Visa unveiled plans to hold a second edition of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) fintech competition and launch its She’s Next women’s empowerment initiative.

Through VEI, Visa will invite fintech start-ups in Ethiopia to share innovations to solve the payment challenges of tomorrow. In 2021, ArifPay, Ethiopia’s first point-of-sale payments systems operator won the first VEI Ethiopia challenge. Since 2015, VEI has helped start-ups from over 100 countries collectively raise more than $16 billion in funding.

This article first appears on Blomberg

In May 2021, about 100 employees of an unnamed phone company received an unsolicited text message, according to court records.

The sender, who isn’t named, had an offer: In exchange for cash, would the staffers leverage their access to the phone company’s internal systems to help them hijack customer phone numbers?

Some of employees informed higher-ups about the texts, and eventually the FBI’s Newark field office became aware. But one employee who received the messages, Corrine Little, allegedly didn’t tell her bosses. In fact, over a 13-day period, Little communicated with phone numbers associated with the scammer, known as a SIM swapper, at least 53 times, according to the Justice Department.

The phone company audited Little’s activity to find she conducted multiple authorized SIM swaps, a process where a phone number is transferred to a new phone without the owner’s knowledge or consent, according to court records. In an interview with the FBI, Little denied performing the SIM swaps, but said she received multiple $600 payments from the unknown texter via CashApp, records show.

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