Safaricom to learn on its Ethiopia license application by May this year

Official reports indicate that Safaricom will now know on its Ethiopia entry bid by May this year, this comes after some contradicting reports from the telco’s Chairman Michael Joseph and head of Ethiopian telecoms commission about the current status on the license application. Ethiopia is considered as one of remaining major closed telecoms market and its entry might pose some opportunities for successful bidders.

According to reports from the country, two operators will be offered licenses to operate in the country this coming May, following an extension on the deadline set earlier for bidding. According to the Ethiopian Communications Authority director Balcha Reba, bidders will now have until April 5th to submit their bids after some aspirants pushed for an extension.

The process will effectively allow the Authority to select successful candidates that would compete with state run operator. The government will proceed to scrutinize the bids for a period of one month after which it’ll announce successful bids the following Month – May.

The country initiated request for proposals on November 27th last year, a period that followed prospective firms buying bid documents. They are now preparing their bids according to Mr Reba which are expected to be presented before April 5, just a month from the initial deadline of March 5, 2021. The new process will be open and competitive, according to Mr Reba, and will now give an opportunity to other firms that were not included in the initial process.

The county’s telecoms Authority had earlier listed 12 firms including Safaricom last November as among firms that had expressed interest in entering the Ethiopia’s telecommunications market. Safaricom had signed an agreement to borrow $500 million from America’s Sovereign Wealth fund International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to fund the Ethiopia expansion of successful.

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