By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- Safari and Vodacom mobile phone operators will commence a joint venture worth $ 13 million in other to obtain the intellectual property rights to the financial services and platform M-Pesa from Britain’s Vodafone.
Safaricom Chief Executive-Bob Collymore said, the deal would be utilized for and expansion of the M-Pesa services to the Africa Markets and also to develop new product.
“It is above us (Safaricom) determining the future and the road map of M-Pesa because at the moment the road map is determined by Vodafone and given that the bulk of the M-Pesa business is in Africa and between Tanzania and Kenya, it is right for us to be determinant” He noted.
This will help the two companies to make important savings on royalties they currently pay to Vodafone. It is yet to be approved, as Collymore noted; it is expected to be completed this year.
“We have got shareholder approval on this side; it is not a big transaction. You know for us (Safaricom) it is a six million euros transaction, so it is not about the scale but the related party transaction that requires us to get approvals of our board and shareholders and requires them (Vodacom) to not only get approvals of their shareholders but they also require the South Africa Reserve Bank’s approval, ” he added.
The success of M-Pesa has helped build Safaricom into East Africa’s most profitable company. Vodacom owns 35% of Safaricom why Vodafone has a 5% stake.
For New Africa Business News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent