Kenyan telco Safaricom is planning to invest an initial KES67 billion (USD593 million) in start-up costs for its Ethiopian division, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia, The Nation writes. The telco holds a 55.7% stake in the new entrant through the Global Partnership for Ethiopia (GPE) consortium, with other partners including its parent company Vodacom Group, Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and CDC Group, which is owned by the UK government. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia was handed its licence in July this year and is expected to launch commercial operations in mid-2022.
In addition to the start-up funds, Safaricom’s CEO Peter Ndegwa was quoted as saying that the operator anticipated CAPEX of between USD1.5 billion and USD2 billion over the next five years to meet the coverage obligations of its licence. Regarding the operations, the official said: ‘Together with our partners we have availed funding to support this new venture, which we anticipate to break even by year four of operations. Our break-even target may be significantly impacted by the impact of the current conflict on the launch of operations, which we target by mid-2022.’