Ethiopia invited proposals from companies interested in buying a minority stake in Ethio Telecom as it revealed it was willing to part with 45 per cent of the operator, a larger chunk than it had originally indicated.

The country’s Ministry of Finance released outline details of the offer as part of its opening of a request for proposal (RFP) process. Interested parties have until 23 February to ask for the document, which costs $20,000 to receive.

Ethiopia had previously stated it would offer up to 40 per cent of the operator and retain the rest.

Its plan to sell a share in Ethio Telecom has been in the works since 2018 as part of wider efforts to open-up the then state-run monopoly. Since then, it has issued its first private licence to Safaricom and is mulling trying to find a third player for the segment.

Announcing availability of the RFP, the ministry added the investor should be able to add value to the company by bringing “best practices in terms of operations, infrastructure management and next-generation technological capabilities”.

“Over the last decade, Ethiopia has become one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa. Its young population, high gross domestic product growth rate, and increased private sector investment offers valuable growth opportunities,” it added.

The ministry also noted its belief there was untapped potential in the country’s telecoms sector.