President Uhuru Kenyatta has arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia🇪🇹 for an official visit during which he is scheduled to witness the issuance of a telecommunications license to Safaricom.
President Kenyatta, who is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Joe Mucheru (ICT), was received at Bole International Airport by his host, Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed.
An international consortium led by Safaricom, and comprising of Vodafone and Vodacom, UK’s CDC Group, and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, won an Shs 91.8 billion bid to operate in Ethiopia.
The award of the license, which was highly anticipated, gives a full telecom operator license to a private business for the first time in over a century in the Horn of Africa state.
The consortium offered an $850 million bid and the Ethiopian Communications Authority has already confirmed that it has won the bid, which was opened three weeks ago.
The award of the license to the Vodafone consortium marks the culmination of bids submitted to the Ethiopian regulatory authorities in the mid-last year.
During the bidding process, Kenya’s telco Safaricom, it’s South African shareholder Vodacom and UK’s Vodafone, partnered and submitted a joint bid for the two new full-service telecommunication licenses in Ethiopia.
Working under the umbrella of Global Partnership for Ethiopia, the three telecom operators’ consortium was among the 12 interested parties that expressed interest to be awarded one of the possible licenses by the Ethiopian government.
On May 21, 2020, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance and the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) launched the Expression of Interest (EoI) process for the issuance of two full-service telecoms.
Ethiopia’s telecom industry is still a monopoly only served by the government-controlled Ethio Telecom.