Ethiopia opens telecoms market to foreign investment

7 Jul 2019

On 5th July, State Minister of Finance, Eyob Tekalign Tolina, announced plans to grant two telecom licences to private firms and sell a 49% minority stake in Ethio Telecom – a venture that will see foreign multinationals entering one of Africa’s largest markets.

The companies are expected to enter Ethiopia’s telecom market in early 2020.

Speaking to reporters, the State Minister said, “Ethiopia plans to make Ethio-Telecom a first-class service provider…The government plans to open the sector to competition in addition to partial privatisation, to improve Ethiopia’s digital footprint”.

He said Ethio-Telecom will be divided into two roles: an infrastructure provider and a telecom services provider. The infrastructure division will be tasked with installing optical cable and building mobile phone towers, while the service provider will be responsible for selling mobile phone, internet and fixed-line services.

Prime Minister Abiy announced last year plans to privatise and allow foreign and private investors into key state-owned companies in an effort to attract new players to the economy.

It is estimated Ethio Telecom, Ethiopia’s only mobile and internet provider, has more than 40 million customers. Vodafone, South African operator MTN, France’s Orange and Etisalat of the UAE are likely to be among the leading contenders vying for entry into the Ethiopian market.

Latest News

Browse all
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is deeply honoured and humbled by the recognition of the Nobel Committee. The Prize will give a significant boost to the Prime Minister’s deep commitment to the twin goals of peace and development in Ethiopia and the entire continent.
10 Dec 2019
Statement from the Prime Minister’s Office following the awarding of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Lecture given by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2019, H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali in Oslo on 10 December 2019. Prime Minister Abiy is the first Ethiopian to be awarded a Nobel Prize. This year’s prize is also the 100th Nobel Peace Prize.
10 Dec 2019
“Forging A Durable Peace in the Horn of Africa” – PM Abiy’s Nobel Lecture
FINTEX 2020, an international furniture, interior and finishing expo, will be held from 5 – 7 March 2020 at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa, with the support of several Ministries in Ethiopia, local and international councils and trade associations.
2 Dec 2019
International Furniture and Interior Expo, FINTEX 2020, to be held in Addis
On 20th November, Sidama residents gathered peacefully to vote on whether there should be a new Sidama Regional State, within Ethiopia's federal system, or whether Sidama should remain as part of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). They voted overwhelmingly – over 98% - in favour of change, so Sidama has officially become Ethiopia’s 10th regional state.
29 Nov 2019
Peaceful Referendum in Sidama, a sign of things to come in 2020!
According to the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, Ethiopia will launch its first-ever satellite into space on 17th December. The satellite will provide data on changes in climate and weather-related phenomena that will be used for agriculture, forestry and natural resource conservation activities.
26 Nov 2019
Ethiopia to launch first satellite in December
18-year old Berihu Aregawi and 20-year old Yalemzerf Yehualaw were the men’s and women’s winners at the 2019 Great Ethiopian Run – Africa’s biggest road race - staged in Addis Ababa on 17th November. Around 450 foreign runners took part this year, one of the highest numbers of overseas participants for the race.
20 Nov 2019
Aregawi and Yehualaw crowned champions at the 2019 Great Ethiopian Run
The Honourable Ms Meaza Ashenafi, the President of the Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia, led a delegation of senior Ethiopian judges on a first working visit to the United Kingdom in mid-November. The Chief Justice and her Delegation were visiting the United Kingdom for a series of meetings and consultations with the country’s senior judiciary and justice-sector institutions as part…
19 Nov 2019
Ethiopia’s Chief Justice on UK working visit
Tourism Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Embassy, Ethiopian Airlines and 20 of the country’s best tour operators, represented Ethiopia at the 40th World Travel Market in London. The event was an important opportunity to showcase Ethiopia’s tourism potential, maintain key industry relationships and build new ones.
15 Nov 2019
Ethiopia celebrated at World Travel Market
In their latest list of best places to travel in 2020, travel publisher and tailor-made trip provider, Rough Guides, has placed Ethiopia among the ‘4 Best Countries to Visit.’
13 Nov 2019
Ethiopia among Rough Guides Best Countries to Visit in 2020
Ethiopia has consistently championed the right of all countries on the Nile to equitably and reasonably utilise its waters. Ethiopia has remained an unflinching advocate for greater cooperation, negotiation and compromise on the Nile, in particular - a hallmark of our approach to all international challenges.
1 Nov 2019
Editorial: Technical Talks on GERD must and will succeed