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Ethiopia awards telecom licence to Safaricom-led consortium

The consortium, which includes Vodafone and Vodacom, paid $850m for the licence, officials say.

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22 May 2021

Ethiopia’s telecommunications regulator has awarded an operating licence to a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom and Japan’s Sumitomo, according to officials, a move that will end the state’s monopoly over its stunted telecoms sector.

The consortium, which includes Vodacom, Vodafone and British development finance agency CDC Group, paid $850m for the licence, Brook Taye, a senior adviser at the finance ministry, said on Saturday.

South Africa’s MTN had also bid for a licence, but its bid of $600m was deemed too low.

The Safaricom-led consortium is set to create up to 1.5 million new jobs and bring $8.5bn in investment over 10 years, according to the government.

“This will be the single largest FDI [Foreign Direct Investment] into Ethiopia to date,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a Twitter post. “Our desire to take Ethiopia fully digital is on track. I would like to thank all that have taken part in this and for pulling off a very transparent and effective process.”

Abiy’s government planned to award two new telecoms licences, but in late April it announced it had received only two bids after some firms that initially expressed interest – including France’s Orange and the UAE’s Etisalat – opted not to submit.

Balcha Reba, director-general of the Ethiopian Communications Authority, said the second licence would soon be re-tendered.

The licences are expected to bring an infusion of cash, jobs and infrastructure investment.

The Safaricom-led consortium will provide 4G and 5G internet services, and by 2023 a low-orbit satellite will be put in place to provide nationwide 4G coverage, Brook said.

“A momentous day for Ethiopia!” he wrote on Twitter.

“Imagine the quality service and efficiency it will engender, the new opportunities, millions of jobs and the transformative effect to our economy!”

Ethiopia’s telecoms reforms also include a plan to sell a stake in Ethio Telecom, a move officials hope will make the firm more efficient.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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Wealth Management

Number of African millionaires to rise 42% over next decade, says report’

Africa as a continent has the both the youngest and fastest growing populations, which could mean endless possibilities for investors

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THE NUMBER of African millionaires is set to rise a staggering 42% in the next ten years, according to a new report,

The Africa Wealth Report which is the definitive guide of Africa’s wealth and luxury sector and is published by Henley & Partners – the global leader in residence and citizenship by investment.

This year’s report – written in partnership with New World Wealth – say Africa is set to see a substantial increase in Africa’s High-Net Worth Individual (HNWI) population over the next decade.

The report reads: “The Africa Wealth Report 2023 reveals that the growth in High-Net-Worth Individuals on the continent is expected to be 42% over the next 10 years.”

Natural and  eco-friendly businesses is a trend which is set to be popular with HNWIs and is set to influence a boom in the eco-tourism market.

However, the report noted: “Total high-net-worth individual numbers on the continent have dropped by 12% since 2012, as this report reveals, with poor growth in the three largest markets: South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria.

“But the future looks brighter, as New World Wealth predicts Africa’s millionaire population will rise by 42% over the next decade, reaching 195,000 by 2032.”

Mauritius projected to have a growth rate of 75% in the next ten years.

But also, several other African countries are predicted to see a growth of over 60% for HNWI’s.

These countries are Rwanda, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Seychelles and Morocco, according to the report.

Africa as a continent has the both the youngest and fastest growing populations, which could mean endless possibilities for investors.

The new report also reveals that “the ‘Big 5’ wealth markets in Africa — South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco — together account for a significant 56% of Africa’s high-net-worth individuals and over 90% of the continent’s billionaires.”

But with countries like Rwanda are developing fast, which may mean a huge leap in the country’s wealth.

The report states: “Rwanda was the top performing market in Africa during the period, with millionaire growth of 72%, followed by Mauritius, the Seychelles, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“Morocco and Kenya’s high-net-worth individual populations also grew solidly.

“Ethiopia and Ghana, whose millionaire populations had been growing rapidly until 2019, have struggled over the past few years, which has pulled back their 10-year growth rates.

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Financing Africa’s recovery.

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Financing Africa’s recovery: Is there an unfair risk premium on lending to the continent?

France 24’s François Picard leads a discussion in which Lionel Zinsou, former Prime Minister of Benin, and Marin Ferry, Asst. Prof. at the Université Gustave Eiffel, articulate their views on the treatment of African economies on the international bond markets and by credit rating agencies. Is there an anti-African stigma on the financial markets?

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AFC – Changing the Narrative on Africa

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Africa Finance Corporation – Africa is on a major growth trajectory and the future belongs to Africa .

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