Central Bank Rolls Out $150m License Fee for Mobile Money Operators

Feb 25 , 2023

International mobile money operators will be required to pay a staggering 150 million dollar license fee as the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) put forth a draft proposal signed by the director of the Payment and Settlement System. According to the draft, the fee is an investment protection cost for foreign nationals investing in businesses that are open only to local investors or the government. The status of Safaricom's application to introduce mobile money services is now open for discussion. The Kenyan telecommunications service provider Safaricom has expressed its interest in expanding the use of its mobile money service, M-Pesa, in Ethiopia. Unfortunately, it was prohibited from providing money-remittance services due to legal restrictions. Allowing for bigger electronic account balances and higher transaction limits, the new regulation raises the amount that can be stored in digital wallets. A maximum daily electronic account balance of 10,000 Br and a daily transaction cap of 20,000 Br apply to level one accounts, while a 300,000 Br cap and a maximum electronic balance of 100,000 Br is allowed for level two accounts.


Ethiopian Seafarers Contribute $50m Annually in Remittances

Ethiopian Maritime Authority disclosed 50 million dollars in annual remittances from seafarers deployed internationally. Abdulber Shemsu, the director general of the Authority, said Ethiopia's membership in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), establishes global standards and guidelines for safe, secure, and environmentally sustainable shipping practices. With 176 member countries and three associate member countries, including Ethiopia, the IMO provides a framework for ensuring...


AfDB Launches $1.5m Initiative to Propel Agro-Industrial Parks

A 1.5 million dollar initiative for the development of three Agro-industrial parks was commenced last week. Financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the project includes feasibility studies, a master plan, and an environmental and social impact assessment. The Phase Two project, which includes capacity building for stakeholders, was initiated last week with an agreement between Semereta Sewasew, state minister for Finance and Gunther Beger, managing director of UNIDO. Semereta said...


Cabinet Approves Public Service Legislation

Council of Ministers has unanimously approved the legislation that aims to raise the competency and professionalism of public service in the country. The Federal Civil Servants Proclamation is pending ratification from Parliament. The decision was made during the 30th meeting of the Cabinet last week, which follows the ratification of the public service and administrative policy. Currently, the 176 federal agencies within 22 ministries, collectively employ around two million people. The polic...