United Arab Emirates (UAE): e& and Orange are contemplating bids for 45% of Ethio Telecom

Jul 13, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Two operators are reportedly interested in acquiring a 45 percent stake in Ethio Telecom. e& of the United Arab Emirates and Orange of France are exploring opportunities surrounding state-owned Ethio, as per Bloomberg, which cited individuals with knowledge of the situation. The publication reported last week that negotiations are in their infancy, while the Ethiopian government has not yet provided a timeline for the transaction. The government of Ethiopia has been attempting to sell a portion of Ethio for a number of years and solicited proposals in November. The operator has over 70 million subscribers and was the only operator in the country until Safaricom from Kenya entered the market in October.

Orange has a significant presence in Africa and the Middle East, operating in eighteen nations, while e& (which used to be known as Etisalat) also has a significant presence in the region, operating in 15 countries. In addition to attempting to introduce a third telco to the market, the Ethiopian government has launched a new mobile tender for a second private telco license this month. MTN Group was anticipated to enter the market next, but its bid for a license was denied in 2021, and the company subsequently withdrew from the process. With a population of more than 120 million, Ethiopia's telecommunications industry is viewed as a significant asset in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's efforts to boost the country's economy.