Ethiopia has awarded a new telecom license to a consortium of providers comprised of Safaricom (Kenya), Vodafone Group (UK), Vodacom Group (South Africa), CDC Group (UK), and Sumitomo Corporation (Japan). The consortium is dubbed Global Partnership for Ethiopia. This brings an end to a decades-long state monopoly of the telecommunications market.
This marks “a decisive day” for Ethiopia’s economic reform path, Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, said.
The selection of one winner completes a transparent process which began in October 2020 to open Ethiopia’s telecom market to operators beyond Ethio Telecom, the publicly-owned national telecom company of Ethiopia, the Ministry of Finance and the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) announced in a joint press statement.
“This decision ushers in a new era of telecom service development in our country which will benefit millions of Ethiopians to have access to quality and reliable communications services,” ECA Director Balcha Reba remarked.
“Global Partnership for Ethiopia is a consortium of reputable telecom companies providing service to over 750 million customers all over the world and committed to create new jobs, support the economy through introduction of new and efficient services,” Mr. Blacha added.
The consortium will invest $8 billion in Ethiopia over the next ten years.
This marks a fulfillment of a milestone in the Ethiopian government’s ambitious Homegrown Economic Reform program, the joint press statement noted.
Source: Ministry of Finance, Ethiopian Communications Authority press release