Safaricom, suffered an assessed 3 to 4 million USD MPesa lost revenue from its money transfer business in the past two weeks due a slowdown caused by a tense 2017 presidential election in Kenya.
Bob Collymore told Reuters in his office “We lost a few million dollars”, putting the estimate at 3-4 million USD.
Most Kenyans stayed at home and many businesses remained shut in the run-up to, and during the election week as many feared an outburst of violence, similar to 2007 where 1,200 people were killed in the post-election violence.
MPesa accounts for about 26 percent of the company’s annual revenue equivalent to about $2 billion.
The MPesa lost revenue was mainly caused by many Kenyans who depend on daily wages having no cash to send during the period. Its network of MPesa agents had also shut down while others reduced the cash they were holding, said the head of Safaricom Bob Collymore.
The election also delayed the rollout of Safaricom’s online ecommerce platform, which will be known as Masoko, modeled after Alibaba, Collymore said.
He said investor confidence in Kenya was still high, as shown by Safaricom’s share price that surged, but warned that the country needed to cut the political risk associated with elections every five years.