The Ethiopian government is set to sell off a 40 per cent stake in state owned Ethio Telecom to private, international investors, as the country begins opening up its telecoms market.
The government will also make 5 per cent of shares in the company available for purchase by the general public Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance, Eyob Tekalign Tolina, told journalists from the Reuters news agency.
The Ethiopian government will retain ownership of the remaining 60 per cent of Ethio Telecom.
In addition to selling off the stake in Ethio Telecom, the Ethiopian government is also set to auction off two 15 year licences to prospective mobile network operators to provide services across the country. The licences are expected to raise over $1 billion in revenues for the government.
The opening up of the country’s telecoms market is an enticing prospect for telcos around the world looking to secure a foothold in Africa’s second most populous nation, and the wider region of East Africa. Vodacom Group, MTN Group Ltd, Orange SA and Helios Towers have all expressed an interest in acquiring a licence in the country.