Ethiopia grants telecommunications license to consortium led by Safaricom | Ethiopia News

Officials said a consortium including Vodafone and Vodacom paid $850 million for the license.

Officials said that Ethiopia’s telecommunications regulator has granted operating licenses to a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom and Japan’s Sumitomo, a move that would end the country’s monopoly on its sluggish telecommunications industry.

Brook Taye, a senior adviser to the Ministry of Finance, said on Saturday that a consortium including Vodacom, Vodafone and CDC Group, a British development financial institution, offered a price of US$850 million. Acquired the license.

South Africa’s MTN has also bid for licenses, but its bid price of US$600 million is considered too low.

The government said that the consortium led by Safaricom will create up to 1.5 million new jobs and bring in $8.5 billion in investment within 10 years.

“This will be the largest foreign direct investment [Foreign Direct Investment] As far as Ethiopia. “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Abiy Ahmed) wrote on Twitter. “Our desire to fully digitize Ethiopia is being realized. I want to thank all those who participated in this event, and thank them for initiating a very transparent and effective process. “

Abi’s government planned to grant two new telecommunications licenses, but in late April, it announced that it had only received two after some companies that initially expressed interest (including Orange in France and Etisalat in the UAE) chose not to submit. tender.

The head of the Ethiopian Communications Authority, Balcha Reba, said that the second license will be re-tendered soon.

These permits are expected to bring cash, job opportunities and infrastructure investment.

Brooke said that the consortium led by Safaricom will provide 4G and 5G Internet services, and by 2023, a low-orbit satellite will be placed to provide national 4G coverage.

“It’s an important day for Ethiopia!” he wrote on Twitter.

“Imagine the quality service and efficiency it will bring, new opportunities, millions of jobs, and transformative impact on our economy!”

Ethiopia’s telecommunications reforms also include plans to sell shares in Ethio Telecom, which officials hope will make the company more efficient.

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