Listen to article
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya yesterday, witnessed the official awarding of a telecommunications licence to a consortium of private companies in Addis Ababa, a deal expected to improve the technological prospects of both countries.
The consortium will be the only privately owned mobile services provider, as Ethiopia seeks to liberalise the economy.
The issuance of an operating licence is the first step in a journey expected to give Ethiopians an alternative to state-owned monopoly Ethiotelecom.
The two leaders termed the event monumental for Ethiopia.
The consortium is Safaricom, a company in Kenya that will own a 52% stake in the new business.
Safaricom’s parent company Vodacom, plus Vodafone, Sumitomo Corporation from Japan, and CDC Group also form part of the consortium.
The companies won the bidding process in May, edging out a rival consortium led by South Africa’s MTN Group, with the backing of Chinese investors.
The deal opens up more than $8bn (£5bn) worth of investment in 4G and 5G networks across the country.
Africa Today News, New York understands that the Global partnership for Ethiopia further projects that up to 1.5 million jobs will be created.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK