Ethiopia set to privatize 45 pct share of state-owned telecom firm-Xinhua

Ethiopia set to privatize 45 pct share of state-owned telecom firm

Source: Xinhua| 2023-02-11 01:34:15|Editor: huaxia

ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government has invited interested parties in the partial privatization of the state-owned telecommunication firm, Ethio-Telecom.

"The government of Ethiopia is proposing a partial privatization of Ethio-Telecom ... by selling up to 45 percent of the equity share capital of the company," the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance disclosed in a statement issued late Thursday.

The ministry said Ethio-Telecom's robust infrastructure coupled with its strong financial performance will offer a significant competitive advantage to any investor. It also said the existing low telecom density in the East African country highlights the huge untapped potential in the country's telecommunication sector.

As part of the plan, the Ethiopian government invited interested parties to invest in Ethio-Telecom, adding value to the state-owned telecommunication firm by bringing in best practices in terms of operations, infrastructure management and next-generation technological capabilities.

The plan is said to be part of the framework laid out by the Ethiopian government for the privatization of public enterprises.

The move is said to broaden the role of the private sector in the country's economy, improve the efficiency of public enterprises, enhance their competitiveness, increase their access to capital, and enhance the quality and accessibility of their services.

Noting Ethiopia as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa coupled with its burgeoning young population as well as the country's high gross domestic product growth rate, the ministry said increased private sector investment offers valuable growth opportunities.

Ethiopia's telecom industry is considered a huge untapped market, as the East African country has the second largest population in Africa, only after Nigeria.

Ethiopia awarded its first private telecom license in May 2021 to a Safaricom-led consortium for a license fee of 850 million U.S. dollars.