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Mobile money

Enabling sector liberalisation in Ethiopia


Our client 

Our client was a leading African fintech platform and mobile money provider which was planning its landmark expansion into Ethiopia. This took place in the context of the country’s liberalisation of its telecoms sector and the introduction of new regulations to allow non-banks to offer mobile money services.

The client’s mission 

Our client has a long and successful track record of pioneering mobile money solutions across multiple African jurisdictions. Ethiopia represented a significant opportunity to accelerate digital financial inclusion by rolling out mobile money services at scale. As of 2022, only 5% of Ethiopians had a mobile money account, compared with 69% in Kenya, 60% in Ghana and 23% in DRC.

Our client’s market entry came at a critical moment for the business against the backdrop of challenging political and economic contexts in the country. Civil conflict in northern Ethiopia posed a significant risk and companies were considering withdrawing from the country. Our client required an in-depth understanding of rapidly changing political, security, regulatory and commercial dynamics, as well as nuanced analyses of the stakeholder landscape.

Our support

We cultivated a deep understanding of its priorities in Ethiopia, obtaining bespoke intelligence and providing succinct and targeted real-time advisory. As our relationship with the client developed, we delivered more detailed analytical briefs covering regulatory, operational and commercial topics based on our deep knowledge of the Ethiopian context. Our support included:

  • Market entry and expansion strategy 
  • Political, economic, security and other market risk assessment
  • Opportunity identification 
  • Sectoral assessment
  • Market and stakeholder mapping
  • Scenario-based planning

The results

Our engagement and advisory supported the client’s successful market entry in Ethiopia. Our support went beyond providing a baseline market entry assessment. We remained a key advisor throughout the crucial period between its market entry and formal launch of services at a critical and challenging time in Ethiopia’s history. 
Our client is playing a key role in scaling digital payments through mobile money services, rapidly accelerating financial inclusion. According to industry association GSMA, these services could lift 700,000 people out of poverty, add USD 5.3 billion to Ethiopia’s GDP, and increase tax revenue by USD 300 million by 2030.

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