Two Large Bidders for Ethiopian Telco Licenses

The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) announces that the deadline has now been reached for bid submissions for the two new nationwide telecommunications service licenses.

Following the Authority’s Request for Proposals (RFP) published on November 27th, 2020, all final sealed bids and proposals from applicants have been submitted and the RFP process is now formally closed. 

“We are delighted to have had interest from established telecoms operators from around the world, commensurate with this unprecedented op­portunity, including from Africa’s two telecommunications ‘giants’, MTN – the largest mobile operator on the conti­nent, and the Vodafone/Vodacom consortium including Kenya’s largest telecoms provider, Safaricom. We acknowledge, with thanks, the diligence and commitment from all participants in meeting the strict requirements set out in the RFP and for their engagement throughout this process. The ECA will be looking for the best all-round partners from the bids submitted and we are confident that competitive bidding will ensure that Ethiopia gets the best deal.”

Eng Balcha, Director of the ECA

MTN commented that its participation is aligned with its strategy, Ambition 2025, focusing on capturing growth from digital acceleration across the continent. It has been made in partnership with Silk Road Fund from China. Other partners will be disclosed on a successful bid outcome.

“Ethiopia provides the largest telecommunication and digital services growth opportunity in Africa over the medium term and fits into our pan-Africa focus and platform strategy. We are being guided by our capital allocation framework in our assessment of this opportunity.”

MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita

The Ministry of Finance and ECA would like to thank all the bidders for participating in this landmark process. In re­sponding to the RFP, each bidder had to comply with strict technical qualification criteria to demonstrate the com­pany had the technical expertise required to manage a license of this size in Ethiopia. There were also strict financial qualification criteria to show each bidder had the resources to manage a license of this scale. 

Following an extensive review of the final qualifying submissions, the Authority will select the winners of the two licenses and a formal public announcement will be made after the technical and financial evaluation is completed. The Ministry of Finance and ECA would also like to thank the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the team of international consultants who have offered invaluable advice and support throughout the RFP process. The ECA remains committed to fulfilling Ethiopia’s telecommunications sector reform as a key part of Ethiopia’s digital trans­formation. 

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