ADDIS ABEBA – Lawmakers approved a bill outlining the scope of a regulator for the telecoms sector on Thursday.
The proclamation passed with all but one abstention vote will put the sole provider telecom service provider, Ethio-telecom, under the umbrella of soon to be formed authority.
The new law, in its intro, says the launching of this regulatory body will facilitate the privatization process of the state telecom provider.
The approval of the bill was seen as a key milestone towards attracting outside investment by many.
Multinational mobile companies are waiting for the powers and responsibilities of the regulator to be codified as Ethiopia wants to award licenses by the end of the year. Authorities believe the institution will modernize the telecom sector.
Ethiopia is one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets but may need up to 2.2 billion USD to modernize its infrastructure, State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign told Reuters news.