Africa

Global consortium wins Ethiopia's telecom license for $850M

Move will create jobs for 1.5M citizens, activate over $8B domestic investment

Addis Getachew   | 22.05.2021
Global consortium wins Ethiopia's telecom license for $850M

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

The Ethiopian government on Saturday awarded a telecom service license to the Global Partnership for Ethiopia, a consortium of telecom companies.

The consortium, which includes Vodafone, Vodacom, Safaricom, Sumitomo Corporation, and the CDC Group, won the bid offering $850 million, two million dollars more than the second-highest bidder, the office of the prime minister said in a statement.

The move will create jobs for 1.5 million citizens and activate over $8 billion in domestic investment, the statement said.

“Global Partnership for Ethiopia has been selected as having the potential to provide high-quality telecom services to the people of Ethiopia," it added

The country's Council of Ministers also unanimously decided to expedite tasks that would enable the issuance of the second telecom license through the Ethiopian Communication Authority.

In mid-2018, Ethiopia floated the partial privatization of the country's giant telecom through sale of two licenses for prospective international operators.

"The Council of Ministers has unanimously made a historic decision today allowing Ethiopian Communications Authority to grant a new nationwide telecom license to the Global Partnership for Ethiopia which offered the highest licensing fee and a very solid investment case," Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Twitter.

"With over USD 8 billion total investment, this will be the single largest FDI [foreign direct investment] into Ethiopia to date. Our desire to take Ethiopia fully digital is on track. I would like to thank all that have taken part in this and for pulling off a very transparent and effective process!" Abiy added.

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