The Ethiopia Petroleum and Energy Authority (EPEA) announced that as of April 24, 2023, all fuel transactions in Addis Ababa will be exclusively through electronic payment. This move is part of the government’s efforts to promote a cashless economy and minimize the incidences of corruption in the fuel sector.

The Ethiopian Petroleum and Energy Authority made the following stakeholder meeting in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Logistics, TeleBirr, the Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise, and fuel station owners in the city. The Authority is also working on digitizing fuel regulation and automating gas stations.

According to Biruk Adhana, Chief Mobile Money Officer at Ethio Telecom, TeleBirr would provide a seamless and secure payment mechanism that benefits customers and gasoline stations. Recently, the electronic payment system TeleBirr improved its platform to a super app offering varieties of services, including e-commerce, food delivery, entertainment, utility bill payments, and transportation.

Another fuel payment mechanism, called Nedaj, was created by EagleLion Systems Technology and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). Nedaj is a software program for buying fuel and managing digital fleets. Customers may locate nearby gas stations, make payments with CBE accounts, and get electronic bills using the Nedaj application.

The introduction of the electronic payment system will also make it easier for stakeholders in the energy sector to manage and monitor fuel distribution. The EPEA will be able to access real-time data on fuel sales and distribution, enabling it to regulate the sector more efficiently. The system will also help to identify areas where there might be fuel shortages or oversupply, facilitating a more effective response to such situations.

The announcement has been welcomed by many as a positive step towards modernizing the country’s energy sector. Previously, fuel purchases were mainly conducted in cash, making them prone to manipulation and fraud by unscrupulous dealers. However, with the new electronic payment system, all fuel transactions will be recorded accurately, making it easier to identify any irregularities.

The EPEA is optimistic about the success of the electronic payment system, citing examples of other countries, such as Kenya, which have successfully implemented a similar system. The EPEA has also assured stakeholders that it will provide support and guidance to fuel dealers who require assistance in the transition to a new payment system.

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