JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan on Friday granted license to a local
private company to commence mobile money and electronic cash
transfer in a bid to widen financial inclusion targeting
millions of impoverished people without access to financial
Ladu Wani Kenyi,
director general of National Communication Authority (NCA), the
telecom regulator, said they have granted operating license to
Trinity Technologies and another unnamed company to start
transacting mobile money and electronic cash transfers in the
country and across the region.
“In the last one
month NCA has engaged with Trinity Technologies for granting of
a license for the platform that will provide electronic and
mobile money services in South Sudan. This process has come to
end and NCA has granted Trinity Technologies this license,”
Kenyi told reporters in Juba.
Most people in South
Sudan’s capital have been relying on small unlicensed mobile
operators to transfer money enabled by the platform created by
MTN Uganda and Kenya’s M-Pesa platforms.
Kenyi said the
unlicensed transactions have been ongoing because there was no
alternative due to the fact that over 1 million South Sudanese
live in neighboring countries with majority of them having fled
conflicts, hence the need for mobile money transfer.
“From today this
thing is going to happen when Trinity Technologies deploy its
platform, and then also there is another company already
licensed. These shops are going to be closed because now we are
going to start with the mobile and electronic money services in
the country that are really licensed,” he said.
South Sudan has an
estimated 4 million people with access to mobile phones out of
12 million population.
Kenyi disclosed that
they hope this development will improve financial services in a
country struggling to reinvigorate its battered economy after
five years of conflict since December 2013.
“One of the
conditions is that the platform has to inter-connect and
inter-operate with any other licensed platform or licensed
telecom mobile operator so that at least everybody can be able
to put the money into their accounts and not carry cash,” said
The major telecom
companies still operating in South Sudan include MTN and Zain
after Lebanese-owned telecom Vivacell was forced to shut down
over license row with authorities.
director of Trinity Technologies, said the mobile money transfer
project is going to transform the economy by creating a cashless
society and technology development.
“We have put out a
plan of action to take mobile money to every nook and corner of
the country. We are not going to restrict to Juba. We are
opening offices across all the 33 States of the country,” he
said, adding that it will generate employment in the country.
Raja also disclosed
that they are setting up a massive merchant network and also
agent network across all regions and towns in the country.
“We have a challenge
on infrastructure in our country. The only infrastructure we
have is the telecom network across the country. So we expect
electricity to come to Juba in the next four months we will have
the grid running,” said Raja.