Vodacom and MTN both expressed interest in having an Ethiopian presence, following news the government is opening up the country’s state-run operator to domestic and overseas investors.

MTN told Reuters the Ethiopian market “would be a natural fit” for its current operations on the continent. The country “presents many exciting telecommunication opportunities” the company added.

A Vodacom representative expressed similar sentiments, telling the news agency Ethiopia is “an attractive market, so it follows that there would be interest”. However, the representative noted Vodacom would need to carefully examine any move by the country’s government before committing to a investment.

Both operators are headquartered in South Africa and operate in several countries in the region.

Reports earlier this week indicated Ethiopia’s government was lining up a sale of minority stakes in Ethio Telecom, which has a monopoly in the country’s telecom market.