As part of its liberalisation of Ethiopia’s telecoms market, the country’s government will sell a 40% stake in state operator Ethio Telecom to private overseas investors.
In addition, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign Tolina stated that 5% of Ethio Telecom’s shares would be made available for public purchase. The government will retain a 60% majority holding in the operator.
The news comes swiftly after the country’s regulator called for operators to register their interest in the two new operating licences being sold at auction. The government anticipates that the 15-year permits could generate as much as $1 billion in revenue.
Ethiopia has the second highest population in Africa, and several major continental operating groups appear to be enticed by the prospect of entering the market. Helios Towers, MTN Group, Orange SA and Vodacom Group have all indicated interest in a bid.