Most residents stayed at home and many businesses were shut in the run-up to, and during, election week as people feared a repeat of 2007/08 post election violence.
Bob Collymore, CEO Safaricom said most M-Pesa users who rely on daily wages had no cash to send during the period. Its network of M-Pesa agents had also shut down while others reduced the cash they were holding.
“How much money did we lose? We lost a few million dollars,” he told Reuters.
The election had also held back the rollout of Safaricom’s electronic commerce platform, which will be known as Masoko, modeled after Alibaba, Collymore said.
“We don’t hold inventory, we are effectively just a market place. We expect that by the end of October, the public will be able to have access to it,” he said of Masoko.
Safaricom has partnered with local courier firm, Sendy, and Fargo Courier Kenya, which will deal with delivery and warehousing of goods from merchants who sign up on the site.
Collymore said Masoko will eventually grow to allow African business people to trade across borders, allowing someone in Kenya to buy Ethiopian leather goods on the site, or to export their produce to Nigeria.
“Technology knocks down physical borders,” he said, “What we do know is that it (Masoko) is the thing that will take us out of Kenya.”
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