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More Africa NewsKenya: Senators threaten again to separate telecoms and M-Pesa activities at Safaricom

November 19, 2020by myles0

Safaricom is considered more and more dominant by senators. In order to restrict its hold, they are considering separating its telecoms and mobile payment activities. They also want to know from the telecoms regulator the measures taken to guarantee healthy competition.

The Kenyan Senate Committee on Information and Communication Technologies is again threatening to separate the telecoms and mobile money (M-Pesa) activities of the mobile operator Safaricom. The two poles should then be regulated respectively by the Kenya Communications Authority (CA) and the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

Senators are considering this solution because they consider the company to be increasingly dominant. It controls more than 70% of data bundles, calls and short message services (SMS). According to the-star.co.ke , senators – who lament that Telkom and Airtel operate at the mercy of Safaricom since they owe it billions of shillings – have called on ICT Minister Joe Mucheru and the telecoms regulator to explain why Safaricom is not declared to be the dominant operator.

The senators wish to know the measures taken by the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth, through the CA, to make the country’s telecommunications sector more competitive. For Senator Irungu Kang’ata of Muranga County, Kenya must strive to achieve a perfect market with a competitive economy.

He asserted that “  the market is no longer competitive. The other operators should be allowed to operate by giving the dominant operator their right, but while letting them operate, and allowing innovation in the country  […] In the current situation, I do not see any other entity growing. We are not going to create more jobs and innovation in this sector  ”.

In 2016, the firm Analysys Mason was hired by the telecoms regulator to analyze the competitive nature of the local telecommunications market. In his conclusions, he advocated a split from Safaricom in view of its overly dominant character.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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