Consortium obtains license to operate telecommunications services in Ethiopia
Global Partnership for Ethiopia, an international consortium established to deliver transformational economic and social impact in the country, has been licensed to operate telecommunications services in Ethiopia.
The consortium, led by Safaricom, a member of the Vodafone group, will set up a new operating company in Ethiopia that aims to start providing telecommunications services from 2022.
Other consortium partners include Vodacom Group; Vodafone Group; Sumitomo Corporation – one of the largest international trading and business investment companies; and CDC Group – the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor.
Ethiopia has a population of over 112 million, making it the second largest country in Africa in terms of population. It is one of the last countries in the world to introduce competition in the telecommunications industry, a rigorous process launched by the government in 2019 as part of its economic reform program, with the support of the International Finance Corporation.
The reforms aim to create jobs, reduce poverty and grow the local economy in an inclusive and sustainable manner. The provision of accessible, affordable and high-quality mobile and internet connectivity by the Partnership will enable greater social inclusion as millions more Ethiopians access quality telecommunications services, according to consortium officials.
In addition, increased connectivity in Ethiopia will also boost the economy, affecting over a million jobs through training and digital skills, and improving the productivity of countless micro and small and medium enterprises.