Ethio Telecom has appointed its first woman as CEO of the company. Frehiwot Tamiru will be taking over from Andualem Admassie, who has now been assigned as Director of the Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency. Tamiru is a former employee and current board member of the company. She is reported to have said that she will announce her strategy and priorities for Ethio Telecom next week when she assumes the position. She has however been part of the company in several different positions.
She is reported to be a former employee of Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation as deputy CEO for Internal Support Service. She however left the position to venture into entrepreneurship; opening her own company called Doxa IT Technology Plc. According to the company’s official website, it “is a company of excellence and solution oriented, established to provide IT services and solutions.”
Reports have it that the new CEO has a master’s degree in business administration at Open University, which is based in the United Kingdom. Before that she received her first degree in Information Systems at Addis Ababa University.
Ethio Telecom maintains monopoly over the telecommunications industry in Ethiopia and is state-owned. The company which is considered the largest mobile operator in African has over 20,000 employees. Reports by This is Africa, pointed out the fact that Ethiopia happens to be amongst the few African countries that still have a state-owned monopoly in its telecommunications industry.
According to Bloomberg, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) considers Ethiopia as having the potential to beat countries such as Senegal, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Tanzania in Economic growth.
The countryy has been in recent headlines for its steps towards encouraging peace. Ebony reports that, “The country appears to be headed toward change. Ethiopia has been in the news recently with talks of privatization of certain parts of its economy to generate investment and encouraging signs of peace with Eritrea; the two countries have had tense relations since a war erupted between the two countries in the 1990s.”
Some time back, Africa reported about Ethio Telecom saying, “In 2006, the company operated in only a handful of cities, and the countryside was entirely unconnected, giving ETC a subscriber base of less than two million in a country of more than 80 million. At that time, a SIM card cost around $10, making it “the most expensive in Africa”, according to Danson Njue of Ovum, an industry research firm. Since then, the company has pumped $3.1bn into infrastructure upgrades and expansion projects. This investment seems to have paid off: Ethio Telecom’s expected turnover of more than $1.3bn this year represents a more than tenfold increase from the $120m recorded a decade ago. For the 2016/2017 financial year, the company posted a $783m profit. Today, Ethio Telecom has 57 million wireless customers, in part because prices are now comparable to more-developed markets in the region. In the year to September 2017, the company added 7.5 million new subscribers, more than any other African telecoms operator over the same period.”