Ethiopia issues tender for a third private telecom operator | Addis Zeybe


The Ethiopian Ministry of Finance issued an open tender for international firms to join Ethio Telecom and Safaricom as a third private telecom operator. The tender lasts until December 19, 2022.

Moreover, the ministry disclosed its plan to privatize Ethio Telecom with a 40% share. 

Minister of Finance, Ahmed Shedie, said, “a tender has been issued to transfer 40% of Ethio Telecom to the private sector and to give a license to a third telecom operator.” 

The first invitation for the sale of 40% of the equity share capital of Ethio Telecom to a private telecom operator was revealed last year in September 2021. However, State Minister for Finance, Eyob Tekalign, said, “the process was postponed owing to domestic and international economic problems.”

Including the IMF and World Bank, various international institutions urged the Ethiopian government to allow the privatization of public enterprises like the giant state-owned telecom, Ethio-Telecom, and Ethiopian Airlines. This is aimed at encouraging business competition in the country.

In 2018, to improve public enterprises’ efficiency and enhance their competitiveness, the Ethiopian government decided to privatize these public enterprises. 

It also legislated a new Public Enterprise Privatization Proclamation No. 1206/2020, which contains specifications and frameworks for the privatization of public enterprises. 

After winning the tender offered by the Ethiopian government in May 2021, Safaricom became the first licensed private telecom operator, switching on its network officially in some parts of the country a few months ago, including Addis Ababa currently. 


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