Ethiopia to sell its 40% stake in Ethio Telecom – potential Safaricom invest

The Ethiopian government has decided to sell 40 percent of its stake in Ethio Telecom, the country’s sole telecom service operator, Country’s Finance Ministry announced late Thursday.

Consultancy firm KPMG has already completed a valuation of the company. The documents are, now under review by the government.

State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign said 40 percent of Ethio Telecom shares will be sold to foreign companies as part of a partial privatization of the company. He also said a minority stake will be sold to the Ethiopian Citizens. The sale of a stake in will end the government’s monopoly in the telecom sector but it will retain ownership of the remaining 60 percent.

The announcement came on the same week country’s telecommunication regulator, Ethiopian Communication Authority (ECA) invited international investors to provide expressions of interest for two telecom licenses which enable them to work in a country of 110mln people.

Both moves of the government are part of the country’s plans for opening one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets.

Safaricom had expressed an interest in the region when recently appointed CEO, Peter Ndegwa took over from Michael Joseph.

The telco had been waiting on the East African country to initiate the privatisation process of the telecommunications company, as well as the sale of two new telecoms licences before committing to officially enter the market.

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