While a national consumer promotion would not normally be big news on these pages, the recently announced promotion by new market entrant Safaricom Ethiopia is possibly more significant than most.
Safaricom Ethiopia has this week launched its first national consumer promotion, one that will see over one million customers rewarded for joining and using products and services on the new network.
The 13-week promotion will award customers unique codes for buying a Safaricom SIM card or recharging their lines with airtime, buying packages or using WhatsApp bundles.
Each customer will receive a maximum of ten unique codes per day that will enter them into a draw to win either daily, bi-weekly or monthly prizes that include: cars, bajajs (three-wheel vehicles), motorbikes, smartphones and tablets, and bonus airtime.
While Anwar Soussa, CEO, Safaricom Ethiopia, refers to the event as being about “saying thank you to our customers in our own small way”, it involves a strong incentive to spend money or sign up. For every 10 Birr (about 19 US cents) spent either on airtime top up or buying voice, SMS or data packages, existing Safaricom customers across the country will receive one code.
New customers who join the network by buying a SIM card and topping up within 24 hours will receive three codes. Seven codes will be awarded for those using the free 1GB WhatsApp package.
The promotion, which is also open to Safaricom’s enterprise customers, runs until the fourth of July and will reward over one million customers throughout a 13-week period across regions in Ethiopia where the Safaricom network has been switched on.
This is further evidence that Safaricom Ethiopia means business in a market in which rival, and incumbent, Ethio Telecom has a strong head start with somewhere in the region of 70 million subscribers.
Still, the new arrival isn’t doing badly. Since starting its operations with customer pilots in August 2022, and following its national launch ceremony in October 2022, Safaricom Ethiopia has grown its subscriber base to 2.8 million customers across Ethiopia.