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Safaricom shareholders approve company’s plans for Ethiopia

LONDON, (The Southern African Times) – Safaricom shareholders gave their nod for the setting up and incorporation of the Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC, the company that will begin operation in Ethiopia by next year.

Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC was set up early this month after the consortium led by Safaricom was awarded the licence to operate telecommunication services in Ethiopia. 

The Global Partnership for Ethiopia consortium brings together Vodacom Group, Vodafone Group, Sumitomo Corporation and CDC Group. The companies from Kenya, South Africa, Japan and The United Kingdom have proven experience in telecommunications with large-scale network deployment capabilities, operations and service provision. 

Anwar Soussa, appointed the Managing Director to lead setting up of the operations will report to the board of directors of the Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC and Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom PLC Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC is expected to create digital transformation that will positively impact the economic and social lives of Africa’s second-largest country, Ethiopia, home to over 112 million people.

Speaking at Safaricom’s 13th Annual General Meeting, Michael Joseph, Chairman of the Board, expressed confidence in the company’s ability to build a top-quality mobile network that will enable Ethiopia to access a world-class array of digital services. 

“The board is committed to working with management to deliver value to our shareholders but, most importantly, to ensure we continue to be there for our customers, staff and the community, especially in this new phase,” said Mr. Joseph.

Mr. Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO said entry into Ethiopia has brought to life the company’s dream to expand beyond Kenya.

Mr. Ndegwa said: “Ethiopia is a critical part of our strategy under Mergers, Partnerships & Acquisitions. We are proud to lead this partnership that will provide quality and affordable mobile and internet connectivity to enable more Ethiopians to access quality telecommunications services.”

Mr. Ndegwa added: “Even as we start operations in Ethiopia, we pledge to continue investing in our country ensuring to always offer our customers superior network connectivity and efficiently enhance our network, products and services.”

During the AGM, shareholders also approved the final dividend of KES0.92 per share with the dividend payout amounting to KES36.8 billion. The dividend will be payable on or before 31 August 2021 to the shareholders on the Register of Members as at close of business 30 July 2021. Safaricom had previously approved an interim dividend of KES0.45 per share amounting to KES18 Billion which was paid to shareholders on 31 March 2021.

Despite the pandemic, Safaricom exhibited resilience during the year to sustain overall performance. This was coupled with operational efficiency and improved asset utilization that boosted recovery especially in the second half of the year. The company recorded flat growth in the financial year ending March 2021 and is set to roar back into growth in 2021.

“We are proud of how resilient our business and financial performance has been during these challenging times. We remain optimistic of the future despite the tough economic times as we implement the new strategy of being a purpose-led technology company,” said Mr. Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO.

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