Ethiopia has announced that it will award two telecommunication licenses to foreign companies to allow them to compete with the government-owned Ethio-Telecom. The move is part of government’s plan to increase private sector participation and improve private capital inflow into the economy. The country is undertaking economic reforms which are meant to drive growth in the fastest growing economy in Africa.
Ethiopian authorities are planning to partially privatize some of the state-owned entities like Ethio-Telecom and sugar processing factories.
“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,” read a statement issued by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance.
Ethiopia aims to achieve high tech industrialization in the next few years. The country expects the international operators to bring high-speed internet connectivity and improve the existing mobile infrastructure in the country.
Ethiopia’s government has established the Ethiopian Communication Authority, an independent regulatory body which will monitor, regulate, and license new and existing telecommunications companies in the country.
According to Ethiopian officials several international tier-one telecom companies have expressed interest in operating in the economy comprised of over 100 million residents.