Ethiopia may sell majority stake in Ethio Telecom - Mobile World Live

Ethiopia may sell majority stake in Ethio Telecom

10 OCT 2019

The Ethiopian government could cede majority control of its telecoms monopoly once it has completed an initial phase of privatisation in 2020, reported Bloomberg.

In an interview with the publication, Balcha Reba, director general at the Ethiopian Communications Authority, said the government could release additional shares after concluding a sale of a 49 per cent stake in the operator, which is expected to happen in 2020.

However, Reba added the market would have to become more competitive and mature before an additional sale could be considered.

Ethiopia’s telecoms sector is set to undergo a major shake-up in 2020. On top of the privatisation plan, the government will also split the operator into two businesses, separating services and retail from its mobile and fixed network infrastructure assets.

The country is also set to break Ethio Telecom’s monopoly by issuing two mobile operating licences in March 2020.

In the interview, Reba indicated the market could be opened up further, with the sale of more licences in the long-term.

This is likely welcome news for Orange, Vodacom and MTN, which have all indicated they would be interested in entering Ethiopia, one of the last major markets on the continent that is currently closed off to international operators.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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