Government to open telecoms market
Publish date: 08 July 2019
Issue Number: 831
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Ethiopia will award two telecoms licences to multinational mobile companies, a senior official said on Friday, in the first detailed announcement of the government’s plans for opening one of the world’s last major closed telecom markets. The government will also offer a minority stake in Ethio Telecom, the monopoly operator, and foreign firms will be invited to bid. Ethiopia’s telecoms industry is considered the big prize in a push to liberalise the country’s economy launched last year by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed because of its huge protected market serving a population of around 100m. A report on the IoL site notes that Ethiopia is also one of the final frontiers globally for multinational telecoms companies. They have been eagerly awaiting the government’s announcement on the market structure since Parliament passed a Bill last month outlining the scope of a regulator for the sector. The report notes that Vodafone, MTN, France’s Orange, and Etisalat of the UAE are likely to be among the leading contenders vying for entry into the market.