MTN Group has reportedly made a bid for an Ethiopian telecommunications licence alongside Vodacom Group and Safaricom. Finance ministry adviser, Brook Taye says that the consortium of bids is led by Safaricom.
‘We always wanted quality providers and this is what we have received,’ adds Taye. ‘These are two African giants — the Safaricom-led consortium and MTN — either one or two of the operators will get a licence in Ethiopia.’
Kenya’s geographical proximity to Ethiopia is expected to be one reason why Safaricom leads the consortium.
‘I think it will be a very good exposure to Safaricom from the perspective of geographical closeness on the one perspective, but also giving Safaricom additional exposure to more growth areas,’ says Vodacom’s chief executive, Shameel Joosub.
In an interview with Daily Nation, Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, states that he would continue to pursue ways to introduce the company’s data, M-PESA and geographical expansion to Ethiopia as part of his strategy to take the Africa-wide telecom to the next level of growth.
Taye revealed that Ethiopia will take a few days to review the technical offer and then open the financial bids. The government is looking to award two full-service telecoms licences as part of its plan to attract more foreign investment to its economy.