Safaricom, Vodacom and Vodafone form partnership to bid for service telecommunication licenses in Ethiopia

Safaricom, Vodacom and Vodafone have formed Global Partnership for Ethiopia to bid to two of the new full-service telecommunication licenses in Ethiopia.

A statement by the Ministry of Finance and Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) stated that 12 films had submitted complete proposals for consideration.

“Accordingly, on the closing date of June 22nd, 2020, the ECA received 12 submissions, of which nine are telecom operators and two are non-telecom operators and one incomplete submission”, read the statement in part.

Other than the Global Partnership for Ethiopia, others are Etisalat, Axian, MTN, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Telkom SA, Liquid Telecom and Snail Mobile. The two non-telecom operators are Kandu Global Telecommunications and Electromecha International Projects.

“ECA remains fully committed to fulfill Ethiopia’s telecommunications sector reform and enhance its digital transformation”, the statement added.

Global Partnership for Ethiopia will be looking to expand its global footprint with an appetite for the over 100 million Ethiopians even as the government liberalizes the economy.

The government is looking to sell a minority stake in state-owned Ethio Telecom alongside two new licenses, a move designed to attract foreign investment and improve competition and quality of the sector.

The International Finance Corporation is acting as adviser.

Ethiopia announced the breakup of its state monopoly shortly after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power two years ago, part of a broader privatization plan that also includes the sugar and rail industries, among others.

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