Ethiopia could cancel offer of new concessions if bids are too low

4 Mar 2021

With Ethiopia reported to have in mind a minimum amount that it aims to raise from the sale of new licences, which it is offering as part of the opening up of the country’s telecoms sector, it has been suggested the sale process could be scrapped if such valuations are not realised. According to Bloomberg, Eyob Tekalign, the state minister responsible for the country’s privatisation process, confirmed that three independent teams have calculated the value of the two new telecoms licences that are being offered, with these valuations said to have informed the government’s expectations of what it should raise from the sale. However, the minister was also cited as saying: ‘If we get the value we expect from the bidding process, we will go ahead … If not, we will have another look.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, a delay to the process of offering the two new concessions was announced last month, with the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) confirming it had postponed the bidding deadline to 5 April 2021 following requests received from would-be bidders. The ECA’s RFP for the award of licences was launched in November 2020, and under a framework for the liberalisation and development of the Ethiopian telecoms sector, the ECA plans to award two nationwide full‐service concessions through a competitive bidding process.