M-Pesa, Airtel Money Set for Split in New Bill in Kenya
Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya will be required to split their telecommunications business from their mobile money transfer and lending units if a Bill set to be presented for debate in Parliament is passed into law.
The Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill 2019, which is sponsored by Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo, is seeking to compel mobile phone companies to form separate arms to manage any other business they engage in outside telecommunications services.
In a move that could complicate the business environment for the telcos, the Bill says they will have to apply for licences “from the respective regulators of any industry or sector ventured into”.
They will also be required to “legally split or separate the telecommunciations business from such other business.
Parliamentarians have in the past unsuccessfully pushed for Safaricom to split its telecommunications service business from its mobile money transfer platform, M-Pesa.
Photo courtesy of Scott Mainwaring.