The Global Partnership for Ethiopia, a telecom operators consortium composed of Vodafone, Vodacom, Safaricom, CDC Group, and the Sumitomo Corporation, has won the bid for one of the licenses that the Ethiopian Communications Authority was offering to foreign telecom operators. The other bid that the authority received from MTN was rejected.

According to the Ethiopian Communications Authority, the consortium that won the license offered up USD 850 million for the license fee and USD 8.5 billion in investments. MTN’s offer, in comparison, only amounted to USD 600 million.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Ethiopian Council of Ministers affirmed that the awarding of the license is an historic event, marking the first time in over a century that a private entity has managed to secure a telecom license in the country.

The consortium is also expected to create employment opportunities for more than 1.5 million Ethiopians as well as contribute significantly to the country’s digital technology development goals.

As for the second license, the authority has affirmed that it will be setting up another bid. This bid, unlike the first one, is going to be swift and efficient in order to make up for lost time according to Ethiopian Communications Authority Director General Balcha Reba.

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