Safaricom Ethiopia to Start Phased Launch in Dire Dawa

ADDIS ABABA – Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia announced that it will begin a phased commercial launch in Dire Dawa in August 2022.

The telco will then switch on its network in 25 cities across the country by April 2023, said Matthew Harrison-Harvey, Safaricom Ethiopia’s Chief External Affairs & Regulatory Officer.



“Currently we are in a testing period to ensure that when we switch on, we will deliver a quality experience for Ethiopians,” he told reporters on Thursday.

The government of Ethiopia granted the telecom license to Safaricom Ethiopia in July 2021 in a bid to liberalize the telecom sector.

Since then, Safaricom officials say they have been preparing to launch commercial service in the country by investing in the network and building infrastructure, including mobile radio towers, a national transmission network, and wholesale agreements for international connectivity.

Harrison-Harvey said the company has so far invested USD 1 billion including the Telecoms License fee, imported equipment worth over USD 300 million, and built two Data Centers.

In addition, he said the company appointed a management team and experts for commercial launch, as well as Recruited 500 staff, of which 320 are Ethiopians, and onboarded 29 distributors across the regions.



“We are working to fulfill our commitment to building the long-term foundation for our contribution to Ethiopia’s digital transformation and inclusion objectives to transform lives for digital future, ”said Harrison-Harvey.

“Safaricom Ethiopia is looking forward to switching on our network and services, starting with Dire Dawa from August 2022 and 24 other cities in phases across the country in the coming months.”

The telco has also signed Infrastructure sharing and interconnect agreements with Ethio Telecom. The implementation is progressing well, Safaricom officials said. 

Featured Image Caption: Safaricom Ethiopia’s Chief External Affairs & Regulatory Officer Matthew Harrison-Harvey speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, July 7 2022.

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