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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyat witnessed $850 million license issuance to Safaricom in Ethiopia

President Uhuru Kenyatta and PM Abiy Ahmed ( Photo : OPM)


President Uhuru Kenyatta was in Ethiopia  for a one-day official visit. His entourage including  Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Joe Mucheru (ICT), were greeted by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed upon arrival at Bole International Airport. 

Weeks after Safaricom, along with three other telecom operators, declared a winner of license to operate telecommunication service in Ethiopia (which cost $850 million), an official ceremony was organized in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Mr. Kenyatta’s working visit was meant to witness the issuance of the license.  

“In 2018, my administration announced our commitment to liberalize the telecommunication sector and open it up to both domestic and foreign investment – a major policy shift in Ethiopia! Today, we signed a historic agreement with the Global Partnership for Ethiopia, which will position us to catalyze inclusive prosperity,” wrote Abiy Ahmed in his social media update. 

Mr. Uhuru  Kenyatta “hailed PM Abiy for continuing to open up the Ethiopian economy to private sector participation saying, the country will benefit immensely from Safaricom’s entry,” as reported by the State House of Kenya. 

He returned to his country on the same day. 

Safaricom, one of the biggest Kenyan telecom companies, is said to have made one of the largest FDI investments in Ethiopia – a country with over 117 million population. Safaricom led investment consortium is known as  “The Global Partnership for Ethiopia.” It is composed of Vodafone,CDC Group and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation. 

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