Safaricom Ethiopia PLC CEO, Anwar Soussa today meets with Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance Dr. Eyob Tekalign.
The two sides discussed the progress of the project by Global Partnership for Ethiopia and the next steps in the implementation. Dr. Eyob and Mr. Soussa spoke about the importance of digitization and an open and competitive telecommunications sector for the future of the country, according to the infromation from the Ministry of Finance of Ethiopia.
In the discussion, Dr. Eyob said the Government of Ethiopia as part of its homegrown agenda said Ethiopia has opened its market to private-sector competition, and foreign investment, which is expected to bring a higher quality of service and more choice for consumers. He also said that these reforms will lay the foundations for Ethiopia’s future digital transformation.
Safaricom Ethiopia PLC’s entrance as the second mobile phone operator in Ethiopia is expected to spur massive investment in the telecommunications sector as well as to bring increased competition to the market, leading to improvements in service quality, coverage, and innovation.
It is also expected to lead to thousands of direct and indirect jobs being created as companies are formed to offer services to the industry and a new technology ecosystem emerges. Mr. Soussa expressed his gratitude to Dr. Eyob and the Government of Ethiopia for having given Safaricom Ethiopia PLC the opportunity to serve the people of Ethiopia and for their strong support as the telecommunications company prepares to launch operations.
It recalled that with Safaricom’s major shareholder a group of international companies have secured the first private telecom operator license in Ethiopia offering some $850 million licensing fee. The group is expected to commence its operation in 2022 to compete with the currently 100 percent state owned – Ethio Telecom, which is expected to sell upto 45 percent of its share to a foreign telecom operator.
In addition, Ethiopia is also expected to announce another bid to invite second private telecom operator to increase the total number of telecom operators in the country to three by the end of 2022.