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Safaricom, Helios Tower bidding to acquire share in Ethio Telecom

June 17, 2020

Barely a month after the Ethiopian government invited interested applicants for two licenses in the telecom sector in-country, Safaricom and Helio Towers have expressed interest in bidding for it. 

Developing Telecoms, a news portal in the Telecommunications sector, reported this week that a Kenyan news source (The Standard) has confirmed from the CEO of Safaricom, Peter Ndegwa, about the expression of interest in the bidding.

“Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa confirmed that the company had submitted an expression of interest to Ethiopia’s telecom authorities, confirming longstanding speculation among industry observers,” wrote Developing Telecoms.

Companies associated with Vodafone Group, like MTN and Orange, are said to have an interest in acquiring shares in Ethiopia’s Telecom which has a vast market (currently with over 45 million subscribers). 

Outside of Africa, Helios Tower (UK based Telecommunications operator) has reportedly expressed interest. The company did so long before the Ethiopian government invited applicants for the two licenses it made available for investors.

Ethiopia is selling 40 percent shares in Ethio Telecom which is considered to be a national asset for the country. Under the guise of promoting “transparency of the privatization process in the country,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed established an advisory council mainly composed of prominent figures in the country.

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