Ethiopia to invite bidders for Ethio Telecom, two licenses in October

The Ministry of Finance of Ethiopia today indicated next month it will invite international telecom operators to bid to buy 40 percent Ethio Telecom share and compete for two more telecommunication licenses.

This is indicated today at the consultation the Ministry of Finance held with ICT, banking professionals and relevant parties on the bidding process and current preparation of selling 40 percent share of the state owned Ethio Telecom for foreign operators.

During the discussion it was stated that so far twelve international telecom operators including Kenya’s biggest telecom operator Safaricom have expressed their interest to bid for buy the 40 percent share of Ethiopia Telecom. MTN, Videophone, and Saudi Telecom have also expressed their interest to take part in the coming October bid and enter the 110 million population telecom market.

It was a few years ago the Government of Ethiopia has decided to end its monopoly in telecom service provision and open the market for international operators.

Out of the remaining 60 percent share 55 percent will remain to be Government share while 5 percent will be sold for Ethiopians. In addition to partially privatizing Ethio Telecom, the government has also decided to bring in two new international telecom operators opening the industry for competition.