Ethiopia has announced plans to award telecommunication licenses to two foreign companies that will set the country in direct competition with Ethio-Telecom which is government-owned.
This development is aimed at increasing private sector participation and flow of private capital into the country’s economy which is home to over 100 million residents.
According to a statement from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance:
“Privatization of the telecommunications sector will facilitate Ethiopia’s push towards a digital economy by closing gaps in digital infrastructure. It will also enable the introduction and expansion of new technologies.”
While pointing out that the country’s target is to get to a highly industrialized state and a growth driven by technology, It stressed that international operators would bring with them infrastructure for high-speed internet connectivity and improve upon existing mobile infrastructure in the country.
The Ethiopian Communication Authority has been established by the government as an independent regulatory body which is intended to monitor, regulate, and license new and existing telecommunications companies in the country.
As a result, numerous international telecom companies have expressed interest in operating in the country.