ETHIOPIA – The Government of Ethiopia has announced its plan to sell five percent of the share of the fully state owned and only telecom operator in the country, Ethio Telecom to domestic investors.

This was indicated at a panel discussion held on the morning of 7th September 2020 to assess the progress made to partially privatize Ethio Telecom at the Prime Minister’s Office.

About two years ago, the government expressed its plan to partially privatize Ethio telecom to foreign telecom operators while maintaining the majority shareholding.

During the discussion it was further stated that the preparation to partially privatize Ethio Telecom is being finalized and that 40% of the Ethiopia Telecom will be sold to a foreign telecom operator while the government retains 55%.

Since then the country has enacted a new law which led to the introduction of a new regulatory body, Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) that will be in charge of over sighting the activities of telecom operators in the country.

The giant telco announced a revenue of about $ 1.3Billion during the July 2020 budget year.

In addition to partial privatization of Ethio Telecom, the government has also invited international telecom operators to bid for two additional telecom licenses the country is planning to issue soon.

Ethiopia is one of the few countries in the world which has not opened its telecom services to foreign operators and investments.

Currently, Ethio Telecom has about 45 million mobile phone subscribers out of a population of approximately 109.2 million as per the World Bank 2018 report.

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