Digital Payment Scramble Heats Up

Mar 27 , 2021

The new buzz in the private sector is to enter the digital payment-gateway market. Last week, Sunpay Solution S.C. joined 13 private companies applying for licenses to become operators. The digital retail payment industry has seen a flurry of activity ever since the central bank issued a directive last year allowing non-financial institutions to provide payment operators and instrument issuer services, privileges previously only allowed to banks. Part of the Sunshine Investment Group, best known for its flagship construction work, Sunpay expects to receive permits from the central bank and launch its "Sunpay" digital payment platform later this year. Founding shareholders of the company held their first general assembly last week in the Marriott Hotel, gearing up to enter the digital banking arena with an initial registered capital of 100 million Br. It is double the amount required by law. Its founders have also announced that it plans on working as a switch operator in the near future. "We're excited about joining the growing retail payment sector," said Etsub Alemayehu, representative of the company.



A street lamp around Addis Abeba Stadium melds into the concrete backdrop emblematic of the capital's ageing infrastructure. Over the past few years, Ethiopia's electric grid has been subject to destruction and theft, subjecting the public treasury to hundreds of millions in losses. Nearly half of the country's population does not have access to electricity. A series of projects by the World Bank has contributed to the slight but essential upgrade to the nation's grid, including a 500 million do...



A trio of donkeys drag along the main road in front of Menlik School around the Arat Kilo area. While the four-legged domestic animal is a venerated member of the Ethiopian labour force, its skin and meat are increasingly valued in the international markets. Rhong Chang, a donkey slaughterhouse operating in Assela Town, Oromia Regional State reopened its services after a seven-year break two years ago. Public outroar has often accompanied the entrance of donkey abattoirs into Ethiopia since anot...



A bustling market emerges under a bridge in the boroughs of the Bole Michael area. Addis Abeba City Administration has launched a series of aesthetic initiatives embalmed in themes of beautification and urbanisation that have removed thousands of shops built with makeshift tents. Above a quarter of Addis Abeba's labour force is engaged in the informal economy, which while often associated with connotations of illegality, remains a sizeable employer in emerging economies across the world. Calibra...