The introduction of competition as a result of the opening up of the telecom sector is expected to positively impact every sector of the economy, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.
The premier made the remark on the license agreement signing ceremony between Ethiopia and the Global Partnership for Ethiopia in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
“Overall a more vibrant telecommunication sector will contribute billions to Ethiopia’s economy through SME productivity gains, job creation, and private sector participation, which taken together can have an exponential impact on economic growth,” Abiy noted.
He added that the license agreement will have a positive impact on digital banking and payment systems that will give the government and businesses as well as consumers efficient access to digital financial inclusion and more control over financial transaction.
“In agriculture, the backbone of Ethiopia’s economy, for example, mobile technology will provide agricultural related services to farmers, vital real time information such as livestock tracing, weather data, commodity pricing. Mobile services will improve productivity for farmers,” the PM elaborated.
Online courses will be readily available and propagated electronically throughout the country and ultimately improve the education sector, he pointed out.
Furthermore, Abiy stated that the health care provision sector will significantly be impacted and similarly public transports and delivery services will be able to provide efficient and cost-effective services.
Also, the premier said “we will see vast improvement in Internet penetration rate which will promote the sustainable development of entrepreneurship in small and medium businesses.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta described the signing of the agreement as “history in the making.”
“The decision by your government to grant an operating license to the Global Partnership for Ethiopia, a consortium with a majority share-holding of Kenya’s Safaricom, is a historic cooperation in our cherished journey for mutual prosperity,” Kenyatta stated.
Recalling that Abiy had challenged Kenyan investors to capitalize on the untapped investment opportunities, Kenyatta said “I believe today’s ceremony is indeed a testimony of the progress that we are making towards economic cooperation between our two nations.”
He added that witnessing the signing “is not only a testimony of our long-standing, good, neighborly and brotherly relations between Ethiopia and Kenya, but also between our two peoples.”
The president said “it is a fact that in reality we are not two people but rather we are one people connected by history, culture, developmental aspirations, and many more.” ENA