Global Partnership for Ethiopia, an international consortium created to bring about transformational economic and social impact in the coutry, has been awarded a licence to operate telecom services in Ethiopia.
The consortium, led by Safaricom, a member of the Vodafone Group, will establish a new operating company in Ethiopia which aims to start providing telecommunications services from 2022.
Other partners in the consortium include Vodacom Group; Vodafone Group; Sumitomo Corporation – one of the largest international trading and business investment companies; and CDC Group – the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor.
Ethiopia is home to over 112 million people, making it the second largest country in Africa by population. It is one of the last countries in the world to introduce competition in the telecom industry, a rigorous process started by the government in 2019 as part of its Economic Reform Agenda, with the support of the International Finance Corporation.
The reforms aim to increase jobs, reduce poverty and grow the local economy in an inclusive and sustainable manner. The provision of accessible, affordable and high quality mobile and internet connectivity by the Partnership will enable greater social inclusion as millions more Ethiopians access quality telecom services, according to the consortium officials.
Further, increased connectivity in Ethiopia will also boost the economy, impacting over 1 million jobs with digital training and skills, and bringing about productivity improvements for countless micro-entrepreneurs and small and medium sized enterprises.