Ethiopian PM confirms Ethio Telecom sell-off - Mobile World Live

Ethiopian PM confirms Ethio Telecom sell-off

19 JUN 2018

Ethiopia will split state-run monopoly Ethio Telecom in two and gradually sell shares in both entities to top telecoms companies in a bid to increase competition, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated.

During a question and answer session in parliament, he said: “Somalia, with a population of 12 million, has four telecommunications firms. Ethiopia, with 100 million people, has one. There needs to be competition in the country,” Reuters reported.

Under the plan, a total stake of between 30 per cent to 40 per cent in Ethio Telecom will be sold to operators, provided they are rated as top ten players globally.

In a separate, related, report from Bloomberg, Ahmed revealed Ethiopians will be offered 5 per cent of the new companies.

Earlier this month it was reported Ethiopia, which for many years had a heavily government-controlled economy, was going to open up its telecoms monopoly and other assets to investors.

This was followed by an expression of interest by South African-based Vodacom and MTN in having an Ethiopian presence.

MTN said the Ethiopian market “would be a natural fit” for its current operations on the continent, while Vodacom said Ethiopia is “an attractive market, so it follows that there would be interest”.

However, the process will be a slow one. The Prime Minister said up to two years of “intensive study” will be undertaken before shares are sold gradually over a period of up to 30 years.

“We are not giving it up in one go, it is not possible,” Bloomberg reported the prime minister as stating.


Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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