Global Partnership Led by Safaricom Bags Ethiopia’s Telecoms License for $850 Million

Global Partnership Led by Safaricom Bags Ethiopia’s Telecoms License for $850 Million

by 26 May 2021

Global Partnership, an international consortium, has been awarded a license to operate telecommunications services in Ethiopia from 2022 onwards.

Reuters reported that the consortium had paid $850 million for the license to beat out South Africa’s MTN who was also vying for it according to Brook Taye, a senior adviser at the finance ministry.

The partners in the consortium are led by Safaricom Plc, a partner member of the Vodafone Group, and will establish a new operating company in Ethiopia to offer the services.

In addition to Safaricom, the partnership includes Vodacom Group, Vodafone Group, Sumitomo Corporation which is an international trading and business investment companies as well as CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor.

Ethiopia is home to over 112 million people, making it the second-largest country in Africa by population.

It is one of the last countries in the world to introduce competition in the telecom industry, a rigorous process started by the government in 2019 as part of its Economic Reform Agenda, with the support of the International Finance Corporation.

The reforms aim to increase jobs, reduce poverty and grow the local economy in an inclusive and sustainable manner.

The provision of accessible, affordable and high-quality mobile and internet connectivity by the partnership will enable greater social inclusion as millions more Ethiopians access quality telecom services.

Increased connectivity in Ethiopia will also boost the economy, impacting over 1 million jobs with digital training and skills, and bringing about productivity improvements for countless micro-entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom,

Peter Ndegwa

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, said:

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with the people of Ethiopia to set up telecom networks to deliver a digital lifestyle. In past years, we have seen the power of digital transformation and its impact on our customers.


We believe by working with all stakeholders in Ethiopia, we can deliver a similar transformation while achieving a sustainable return to our shareholders.”


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