Ethiopia’s economy was the twelfth fastest growing in the world as of 2012, capping ten consecutive years of expansion by achieving 9.7% growth during the 2012/2013 fiscal year. Despite its largely agricultural and service based economy the largest growth sector in Ethiopia has been industry, which accounts for only 12.3% of GDP but grew by 18.5% over the last decade. Despite the robustness of the Ethiopian economy only about 20% of the country’s population have access to formal financial services. Several steps have been taken to address these shortfalls, beginning with the launch of the Ethiopian Financial Inclusion Project in 2009 which seeks to market financial services through point of sale devices deployed at satellite branches. In 2011 the National Bank of Ethiopia made a formal Maya Declaration Commitment that the level of financial access in the country will be significantly improved by the end of 2014/2015 through enactment of a Growth and Transformation Plan. In pursuit of this goal Ethiopia established a mobile agent and banking regulatory framework in 2013, permitting mobile providers and microfinance institutions to offer financial services through mobile devices.
Sources: National Bank of Ethiopia Maya Declaration, Ethiopia Economic Outlook by African Development Bank Group, Ethiopia approves mobile and agent banking regulatory framework by Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Financial Inclusion by Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency