Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Plc, has commenced deploying network infrastructure, importing equipment, and recruiting staff in Addis Ababa, in a bid to launch its telecom services by the first half of 2022. The company will channel USD300 million for annual network infrastructure outlays, out of the USD8.5 billion it promised to invest in Ethiopia over the course of the next ten years.
“We will share Ethio Telecom’s infrastructure and they will also share ours on some sites,” said Anwar Soussa, Managing Director of Safaricom Ethiopia, during the company’s first press briefing in Ethiopia on September 3, 2021, at Hyatt Regency.
The new entrant is also looking for additional investors outside of its five shareholders–Vodafone, Vodacom, Sumitumo, Safaricom, and CDC. The consortium secured a license for USD850 million months back, becoming the first private operator alongside the giant parastatal.
“We are looking for other finance sources particularly from development organizations,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom Plc.
The consortium is licensed for the next fifteen years in Ethiopia and is expected to secure a license for mobile money after a year.
Safaricom PLC owns 56Pct of The Global Partnership for Ethiopia (GPE) consortium, with Vodacom contributing 6.2Pct, Japan’s Sumitumo 25Pct, and the UK’s investment fund 10Pct.
Being one of the last telecom markets to be liberalized, the Ethiopian government is looking to award another license, apart from privatizing 45Pct of Ethio Telecom.