Vodacom and MTN bid for Ethiopia telecom licence

Ethiopia’s finance ministry confirmed two final bids for new operating licences, with MTN Group and a consortium including Vodafone Group, Vodacom and Safaricom in the running to enter the market.

The country’s overdue application process ended this week with the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance announcing final bids had been received from MTN, and a consortium made-up of Vodafone’s affiliates and partners CDC Group and Sumitomo Corporation.

The delayed process had originally been contested by 12 parties, which submitted initial expressions of interest. In addition to the two announced final bidders, these included Orange, Etisalat and Saudi Telecom Company.

Ethiopia kicked-off the final licensing process in November 2020 and then shifted the deadline twice citing issues around Covid-19.

MTN Group CEO, Ralph Mupita, said, “Ethiopia provides the largest telecoms and digital services growth opportunity in Africa over the medium term and fits into our pan-African focus and platform strategy. We are being guided by our capital allocation framework in our assessment of this opportunity.”