Five percent shares of Ethiopia's sole telecom services, Ethio Telecom, are to be sold to Ethiopian citizens, while 40 percent stake will be sold to international companies.
The decision to sell Ethio Telecom's 40 percent stake has been announced in May this year, while the reservation of five percent stake for Ethiopian nationals is a rather new announcement. This has been disclosed after Ethiopian government officials and stakeholders discussed activities being carried out to improve Ethiopia's telecom sector.
The discussion, held in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, focused on the decision to partially privatize Ethio Telecom in a bid to attract additional telecom companies into the country.
The five percent stake to be reserved for Ethiopian nationals is to be "shared by all citizens as per their potentials" and not to be monopolized by a few. The Ethiopian government will maintain a decisive 55 percent share in the company.
Moreover, Ethiopia is looking to introduce two multinational telecom service providers into the market. The licensing of these, Prime Minister Abiy reaffirms, "will be carried out free [from] corruption based on [the] ethics of professionalism so as to safeguard [the] benefit of the nation."
Prime Minister Abiy further noted the liberalization of the telecom industry is in line with Ethiopia's homegrown economic reform agenda.