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Safaricom Ethiopia and streaming platform Sewasew Multimedia have entered into a partnership aimed at supporting local artists in releasing and distributing their music to fans more easily. The collaboration also opens avenues for Sewasew users to settle their payments through M-Pesa

The partnership comes weeks after Safaricom’s announcement that the Ethiopian subsidiary is set to surpass its 20-year-old Kenyan user base in the next few years, highlighting the potential of the Ethiopian market.

“We know music is a passion point for Ethiopia and the partnership will leverage this passion and data to empower artists and their work,” said Charles Wanjohi, Chief of Consumer Business Unit at Safaricom.

Sewasew has over 900k users. and has released more than 20 albums, though it’s difficult to get exact streaming hours, some of their artists have amassed millions of streams, including Abinet Agonafr, Aster Awoke, and Girma Tefera.

“The partnership primarily focuses on artists and events, and it will allow us to release more albums and support our creators,” said Habtu Negash, CEO of Sewasew Multimedia. “And soon we will work to forge a partnership to leverage M-Pesa, Safaricom’s mobile money service, to enable easy album purchases through Safaricom SIM cards.”

The partnership was also marked by the launch of Ethiopian musician Amnauel Mussie’s debut album, “Tikur Wuha,” which was produced by Yamulu Molla and sponsored jointly by Safaricom and Sewasew. The release is the first of several planned releases.

“We are anticipating releasing around seven albums until the end of this Ethiopian year,” said Habtu. The upcoming releases include albums from prominent Ethiopian artists like Tsedenya Gebremarkos, Teddy Afro, Zerubabel Molla, Tsegaye Eshetu, The Lafuntees, and more. 

Launched in October 2022, Sewasew is a music and entertainment company backed by RIDE’s Samrawit Fikru and has signed over 100 artists, including prominent figures in the Ethiopian music scene. 

Sewasew also signed a licensing agreement with Universal Music Group on Nov 2023, which has been described “as the first of its kind”.  According to the agreement, Sewasew is responsible for the digital distribution and marketing of UMG’s extensive catalog of music in Ethiopia

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author

Etenat holds a degree in Journalism and a a master's in Public Relations. Previously, she served as a university lecturer and has five years of experience in communications, media, digital marketing, and consulting.