Ethiopia invites bidders to partially privatize Ethio Telecom

The Government of Ethiopia today invited foreign investors interested to buy partial share of the state-owned telecommunications service provider, Ethio Telecom.

The Government has released request for proposal (RFP) for the partial privatization. “The Government of Ethiopia has released an RFP for the Partial Privatization of Ethio-Telecom to invite proposals from interested parties who can add value to the company by bringing in best practices in operations, infrastructure management & technological capabilities,” said the Ministry of Finance of Ethiopia, which is in charge of leading bidding process.

Until the Government of Ethiopia granted license for the first private telecom service provider a few months ago, the over century old Ethio Telecom has been the only telecom service provider in Ethiopia.
A group of international telecom service provider led by Safaricom have recently win a bid offering $850 million to the Government of Ethiopia for licensing fee.

As part of its initial plan of liberalizing the country’s telecom sector, the Government of Ethiopia is set to grant one additional telecom operating license for international company, as well as sell up to 45 percent of its share of Ethio Telecom. Today’s invitation for proposal by the Government has followed the decision made a few years ago to privatize and liberalize major sectors such as telecom, aviation, as well as shipping and logistics sectors among others.

A recent valuation made by a foreign company estimated that the total asset of the state owned Ethio Telecom is around 80 billion Birr (about $1.76 billion at current exchange rate).

Latest financial statement shows that Ethio Telecom has generated an annual revenue of 56.5 billion Birr (about $1.3 billion) during its budget year concluded June 30, 2021.