Ethiopia receives digital economy boost from TeleBirr

telebirr

Last month Ethio Telecom, the most profitable public enterprises, had launcheda mobile money service under the brand name ‘telebirr’. Within few weeks Ethio telecom managed to attract over four million customers who have registered on its telebirr platform and it has been reported that in this very few weeks millions of birr worth of transaction have already been go through the platform.
Experts in the sector said that the dormant digital currency transaction that is now a major transaction platform in many countries mainly in developing economy is now a good alternative for Ethiopia to boost the financial industry and also for e-commerce,which has already got significant attention on the ‘Digital Ethiopia 2025’ Strategy of the government.
The government has also clearly stated that it aims to boost the digital economy, job, and other IT based technologies and businesses as one of the major players for socioeconomic changes.
Besides creating enabling environment like policy, strategy, and laws to attain the targeted achievement in the IT industry, the government has also opened up the telecom industry for more players.
Experts in the IT industry and familiar with e-commerce said that the coming of telebirr and opening up of the telecom sector would be a big opportunity in terms of ease of doing business and transaction besides expanding online services like e-learning.
Recently, Brook Adhana, senior staff at Ethio Telecom, that the telecom giant is working with a company to sell its share.
He said the telebirr birr initiative is aligned with the coming e-commerce company that will use the existed US company black purpose e-commerce platform to buy and sell products.
Besides that Brook said that the company’s share will be also sold via telebirr. It is the first ever type of share sales on the telecom platform.
One of the experts is Daniel Bekele, founder and CEO of Ashewa Technology Solution. Heeagerly looked forward for the development in the telecom industry mainly on the payment platform to boost his dream that his company is engaged in.
Ashewa is an online platform that facilitates the e-commerce and e-learning for anyone who lives in Ethiopia or other places.
“Definitely the new initiative of ethio telecom will accelerate the digital economy since it would make it easy to buy and sell goods and services besides creating a cashless society,” he shared his expectation.
Daniel said that the technology sector particularly of the digital sub sector has massive impact on the current world on the economy and jobs that is not tapped by Ethiopians properly, “there are people saying we are not ready for practicing the digital technology on the day-to-day life, but it is not correct at least we have to start at some point and expand it in the future.”
“Wewill start the digital scheme for e-commerce and e-learning for those who are accessible and it will be a lesson for others to be encouraged and engaged,” he added.
“Currently, there is no opportunity for potential users and as per our evaluation at least there are 6 million active internet users that will be very high when including the diaspora,” he said.
Experts on the sector said that the latest government initiative to boost the digital economy is a conducive environment for the digital economy. They said people are using smartphone that means they should have opportunities to access different technologies on their devices. “To achieve that modern education, market and payment system are supposed to be developed,” experts explained.
Latest information secured from Ministry of Finance indicated that smartphones as a percent of total connections stand at 44 percent in Ethiopia which is in line with Sub-Saharan Africa average of 44 percent.
Ashewa’s CEO said that people shall generate revenue and get service by using besides using internet for social media or entertainment and information.
Currently, there are online platforms or social media platforms used to promote various sales of services and goods online but it is not growing as such like the experience of others including peers.
“You may promote a brand, goods or services online but it is crucial to be aligned with modern and alternative payment system to run it properly,” a telegram platform cosmetics seller said.
The alternative payment schemes that are observed in other countries shall accelerate the e-commerce or other services, according to Daniel, who has experience on the online trading scheme of Jumia.
“I have served at Jumia in Nairobi branch for very few periods but I understand just how much the modern payment system has eased the trading via the prominent modern platform that originally formed in Nigeria. Likewise, telebirr will do the same,” Daniel elaborates.
Daniel said besides different payment alternatives,he observed that the major share of Kenyans are using the mobile money, M Pesa, which is a globally popular e-payment scheme of Safaricom, to buy products through Jumia platform from all over traders in the world.
Experts said that the coming of telebirris expected to contribute similar achievement in the digital business in the country.
“The coming of millions of users within few weeks on telebirr is a testament to the impact. Under our reestablishment that will be launched on the third week of July we would have different payment integrations on our online business. Besides the mobile banking or internet banking for sure we include telebirr as a major alternative,” founder of Ashewa that is focused on the e-learning and e-commerce and now rebranding and reestablish its business on wider ranges due to huge investment and massive share sales explained.
Ethio Telecom had disclosed that it has linked with Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Bank of Abyssiniato power the mobile wallet, while others are also expected to be included on the new scheme.

CapitalEthiopia