The Government of Ethiopia, which has been in the process of privatizing a number of state-backed businesses and propelling the nation towards a market-oriented economy, would sell off a 40 per cent stake of Ethio Telecom, the Addis Ababa-based lone telecommunication service provider in the horn Africa, as a part of the Ethiopian Government’s attempt to open up the world’s last major telecom market, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign Tolina said to a press agency.
Apart from that, two senior Government officials directly briefed over the subject-matter were quoted saying on condition of anonymity that a number of foreign firms would be invited in the auction, while the Ethiopian citizens would also be allowed to purchase small minority stakes in Ethio Telecom and the Government would retain the controlling 60 per cent stake.
In point of fact, latest remarks from Tolina to sell off a 40 per cent stake of Ethio Telecom came forth a day after the Ethiopia’s Communication regulator said that Ethiopia, the low-income landlocked African nation, a third of whose population has been residing below poverty-level, would leap forth with its planned stake sale of the monopolized telecommunication sector despite a pandemic outbreak at large.
Nonetheless, while being asked over the issue, the Ethio Telecom had declined to comment over the auction procedure, though a spokeswoman for the Ethiopian telecom giant had confirmed that an auction for Ethio Telecom’s 40 per cent stake would take place in a near-term outlook.
Ethio Telecom stake sale- a bigger bet to liberalize nation’s economy for PM Ahmed
More importantly, as the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been seeking to open up the nation’s economy, a privatization of the country’s telecom industry is contemplated as one of the strongest pushes to turn PM Ahmed’s vision into a realty given the scale of the size of the market that serves nearly 110 million people.