South Africa’s MTN, Vodacom interested in Ethiopia’s telecoms market

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Two South Africa’s firms- MTN Group and Vodacom Groupare interest in the Ethiopian telecoms market, a day after the East African country announced plans to partially privatize its government owned companies.
According to Reuters, South Africa’s MTN Group said on Wednesday “it was excited by the potential opening up of the Ethiopian market “as it would be a natural fit for MTN’s existing pan African footprint.”
“Ethiopia presents many exciting telecommunication opportunities and we look forward to further discussions with that nation’s authorities on potential partnerships and opportunities,” the mobile network provider told Reuters in an emailed response to questions.
Similarly, South Africa’s Vodacom Group is interested in the Ethiopian telecoms market, it said today.
“Vodacom has said on many occasions that Ethiopia is an attractive market so it follows that there would be interest. Naturally this is dependent on what might become available and if it fits within our investment parameters,” Vodacom’s spokesman said.
The Executive Committee of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) on Monday June 4 passed the decision to partially liberalize the economy.
The move is aimed at attracting Ethiopian Diaspora as well as potential local and foreign investors in Ethiopia’s fast-growing economy.
The Committee decided to expand mixed ownership or full privatization of state-owned enterprises such as railway and sugar projects, industrial parks, hotels and manufacturing industries.
The Committee also put directions to privatize Ethio-telecom, Ethiopian Airlines, electric power generation projects, with the government having the majority stake.