ADDIS ABABA– Ethiopia plans to privatize a 40 percent share of the state-owned telecommunication firm, Ethio-Telecom, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) reported Wednesday.

FBC reported that the Ethiopia Ministry of Finance issued a bid tender on Wednesday to identify potential international companies interested in equity purchases during the coming month. 

Separately, the Ethiopia Communications Authority (ECA) also disclosed in a press statement that it plans to resume the licensing process to identify the third telecommunication firm that will join the two current active companies in Ethiopia, Ethio-Telecom and Safaricom. 

The ECA further said there will be one month window for potential bidders ending December 16 to submit their interests to become the third telecommunication firm operating in Ethiopia.

ECA was established in August 2019 as an independent federal government authority to promote the development of high-quality, efficient, reliable, and affordable communication services throughout the nation. 

Ethiopia awarded its first private telecom license in May 2021 to a Safaricom-led consortium for a license fee of 850 million U.S. dollars. 

Ethiopia’s telecom industry is considered a huge untapped market, as the east African country has the second largest population in Africa, only after Nigeria.  – Xinhua