The deal, which includes Vodafone and Vodacom, paid $ 850m in compensation, officials said.
Ethiopia’s telecommunications authority has issued a licensing agreement under the auspices of Safaricom of Kenya and Sumitomo of Japan, according to officials, an idea that would end the country’s control over its mobile operators.
The deal, which includes Vodacom, Vodafone and Britain’s finance agency CDC Group, paid $ 850m for the license, Brook Taye, a senior adviser to the Ministry of Finance, said on Saturday.
South Africa’s MTN has also applied for a permit, but its $ 600m fee is considered too low.
The Safaricom-led agreement is expected to create new jobs of up to 1.5 million and bring in $ 8.5bn in sales over 10 years, according to the government.
The Council of Ministers has made a formal decision today to allow the Ethiopian Communications Authority to issue a new international license to the Global Partnership for Ethiopia which provided adequate compensation and a strong case. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Ht6z95BHzZ
– Abiy Ahmed Ali 🇪🇹 (@AbiyAhmedAli) May 22, 2021
“This will be the only FDI [Foreign Direct Investment] to enter Ethiopia so far, “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a Twitter post.” Our desire to take over Ethiopia as a whole is the best way. I thank all those who participated in this work and for making good use of resources. ”
The Abiy government wanted to issue two new telephone licenses, but at the end of April it announced it would receive only two cents after other companies that initially showed interest – including Orange of France and UAE Etisalat – did not choose.
Balcha Reba, director-general of the Ethiopian Communications Authority, said a second license would be issued soon.
Licenses are expected to bring in revenue, employment and construction services.
The Safaricom-led partnership will provide 4G and 5G internet services, and by 2023 a smaller satellite will be established to provide 4G coverage worldwide, Brook said.
“The most important day in Ethiopia!” wrote on Twitter.
“Just think of the good work it can bring, new opportunities, more jobs and our economic transformation!”
The change of telephones in Ethiopia also includes a share sale plan at Ethio Telecom, which officials hope will hopefully contribute to the company’s success.