Safaricom, Vodacom plot joint bid for new Ethiopian licence; 22 companies interested

4 Nov 2019

Safaricom of Kenya has confirmed that it will register a bid for one of the two new licences being tendered by the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA). The Kenyan market leader will be supported in its bid by its indirect shareholder, Vodacom Group of South Africa. Reuters quotes Safaricom’s interim CEO Michael Joseph as suggesting that the cost of the licence could reach as much as USD1 billion, when the cost of spectrum is factored in.

Ethiopia plans to award two telecoms licences to international telecoms operators by April 2020. According to Brook Taye, senior advisor to the Ministry of Finance, a total of 22 companies have shown an interest in the new concessions to date. Mr Taye told the Addis Fortune: ‘We’ll shortlist eight to nine companies and will send a request for proposals for these companies in one month.’ This aspect of the process is expected to take place before 30 November.