Safaricom set to use 07 prefix for Ethiopia phones


Safaricom SIM card. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Safaricom-led consortium that recently won an operating licence in Ethiopia will use the same ‘07’ mobile number prefix it deploys in Kenya when it launches commercial operations next March.

It is the second mobile network prefix allocated in Ethiopia after the '09' that is used by the state-owned Ethio Telecom.

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM officials also revealed during a briefing with journalists in Addis Ababa that the consortium which has named the new operation Safaricom Ethiopia, is now recruiting staff ahead of the operational launch.

The Safaricom-led consortium, which also includes Vodacom Group, British development finance agency CDC Group and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, received a telecommunication operator licence in Ethiopia in July this year.

“Our first data centre has arrived in Addis and we are working on our network rollout. As we continue to recruit, we are on track to hit a milestone of 100 local employees in January and 1000 roles both direct and indirect by quarter two of 2022, and eventually 1.5 million jobs over the next 10 years,” Anwar Soussa, managing director of Safaricom Ethiopia said during the briefing.

The consortium recently appointed eight middle-level managers for its Ethiopia operation as it seeks to build a pool of staff ahead of the commercial operations next year.

The new senior managers who have been tapped for new top roles are mainly drawn from Safaricom, Vodacom, Vodafone and Sumitomo Corporation.

Safaricom also recently revealed its plans to lease and occupy an office building by the start of next year in Addis Ababa as a base for the Ethiopia operations indicating that the telco remains bullish on its expansion plans despite the ongoing conflict that has threatened to disrupt its operations in the country.

Safaricom last month evacuated some of its employees from Ethiopia because of armed conflict and civil unrest as a raging conflict between the government of Ethiopia and Tigrayan forces.

The war is threatening the stability of Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country seen by Kenyan major companies, including Safaricom, as a promising frontier for investment.

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