Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta officially signed a deal that will open up Ethiopia’s hobbled telecom sector and potentially create 1.5 million new jobs and bring in $8.5 million investments to Ethiopia’s economy.
A historic telecom licensing agreement will grant a consortium of firms including Kenya’s Safaricom, Vodafone and Vodacom access to Ethiopia’s lucrative telecoms sector
The consortium won a Kshs 91.8 billion ($850 million)bid to operate in the country and ends state-owned Ethio Telecom’s monopoly.
President Kenyatta told Ethiopians that the entry of Kenya’s technology giant Safaricom will help transform their country by positively impacting most sectors of the 112 million population economy.
“Today’s ceremony is the first step in an exciting and rewarding opportunity for Ethiopia. Kenya has seen the great gains and opportunities unleashed by Safaricom across the entirety of our socio-economic landscape.” President Kenyatta said
“Ethiopia now stands at the cusp of making even greater strides in Safaricom’s areas of strength; which include digital presence, mobile money, telephony, data and fibre connectivity, and business solutions.” He added.
Kenyatta also said that the entry of Safaricom will help Ethiopia create over 1.5 million new job opportunities for its citizens.
Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed said the award of the telecommunications license will catalyze inclusive prosperity.
Abiy added competition will create a vibrant telecommunications sector that will significantly contribute to the growth of the economy through the creation of jobs and the rise of new MSMEs.
With the issuance of the license, the consortium will officially start its operations in the country next year and is expected to expend over Kshs 864 billion in ten years, making it the largest FDI in Ethiopia’s history.