Ethiopia to bid for second telecom license

Reuters reports that Ethiopia will hold its second telecom license bid next month, citing two senior government officials.

It is also said that the service license will be extended to the mobile money market.

Two years ago, Ethiopia announced that it would open the telecom sector to foreign companies.

Accordingly, the International Cooperation Agency (ICC), a consortium of various companies, submitted a maximum of $ 850 million to the bid, and the second bid was rejected.

The bid has been revised for the second time.

Director-General of the Ethiopian Communications Authority, Balcha Reba, told Reuters that some changes had been made to increase the bid price.

The director also cited mobile money services as an example.

According to Banda Taye, Senior Adviser to the Ministry of Finance, the World Bank, a private sector arm of the World Bank, will serve as a marketing consultant under the agreement.

The adviser also said that the government expects companies that have previously expressed interest in purchasing the license but are not enough to participate in the bid.

“We expect strong demand,” he added.

Safaricom, a Kenyan-based coalition, has won the first license of Ethiopian Telecom and will launch operations in the coming months.

International Coalition for Ethiopia is a consortium of well-known telecom companies and companies in the sector, including Safaricom, Vodacom Group, Vodafone Group, Sumitomo Corporation, and CDC Group.

Ethio Telecom, one of the state-owned enterprises, is one of the most profitable companies in the region, but it is relatively low compared to other companies in the region, say analysts in the sector.

Analysts say Ethiopia has decided to sell shares in other state-owned enterprises, including Ethio Telecom, in order to pay off its huge debts. It is also said to increase telecom access and streamline the service.

Twelve telecom companies have expressed interest in participating in the Ethiopian telecom sector, but French Orange, Saudi Telecom, Liquid Telecom, and the United Arab Emirates Itisalat have not been able to participate in the bid.

South Africa’s MTN and its partner, Silk Road Fund, part of the Chinese government’s investment, offered $ 600 million, but it was rejected.

As a result, the second telecom sector did not issue a new license, but it was said that the necessary preparations would be made for the next bid.

In addition to the two telecom licenses held by foreign companies, Ethio Telecom, the country’s leading service provider, will also open its doors to investors.

As a result, the state-owned enterprise is expected to acquire a 40 percent stake in foreign investment, 5 percent for Ethiopians, and 55 percent for the government.

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