Econet Global becomes latest company to express an interest in Ethiopian licence

26 Feb 2020

Econet Global, owned by Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, is said to have joined the already sizeable list of companies with an interest in acquiring a telecommunications licence in Ethiopia, according to Bloomberg. In response to questions regarding the matter, a company spokesperson for the group was cited as saying: ‘Econet, through a number of its subsidiaries, is actively developing interests in Ethiopia … Given that there is a competitive process on new licences, it would not be appropriate at this stage to discuss our own positioning.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Ethiopia plans to award two telecoms licences to international telecoms operators by April 2020, ahead of which in November 2019 Brook Taye, senior advisor to the Ministry of Finance, confirmed that no fewer than 22 companies had already expressed an interest in the new concessions. Commenting at the time, Taye noted: ‘We’ll shortlist eight to nine companies and will send a request for proposals for these companies in one month.’ It is understood, however, that the timeline for licence awards has since been pushed back – in part due to the general election that is scheduled for August 2020 – and interested parties must now register their interest in the concessions by November 2020, with the award of licences now expected by April 2021.