Nairobi News

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Safaricom a big hit in Ugandan capital

The presence of Kenya’s leading telecommunications firm Safaricom is overwhelming in Kampala, despite the glaring fact the organization isn’t formally allowed to do business in Uganda.

The most visible of Safaricom’s product here is the money transfer service M-Pesa, which seems the most popular amongst the tens of thousands of Kenyans who reside here.

All through the streets, and even in residential areas, the recognizable M-Pesa sign can be spotted on boards, in some cases even outnumbering the local mobile money networks from local firms such as MTN, Airtel and Uganda Telecom.


Using the M-Pesa service in Kampala however incurs extra charges aside from those stipulated by the service provider according to a spot check by Nairobi News, with a ‘commission’ of between 1-10 percent of the amount being sent levied upon by the operators.

Mobile calls from and to Safaricom networks are also popular here, especially in the wake of the request by the Presidents of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda last year, that urged the telecom companies to lower the call rates to all East Africans with roaming lines.

Data charges however remain relatively high thanks to the transfer of mobile.