Zimbabwe Billionaire to Bid for Ethiopian Telecoms License

ADDIS ABEBA – Econet Global Ltd., owned by Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, is keen to acquire a telecommunications license in Ethiopian, media reports indicated.

Ethiopia, which is opening up the industry to foreign investment for the first time, has announced plans to sell as much as 49% of the state-owned monopoly, Ethio Telecom, and issue two new spectrum licenses.

Carriers including Orange SA, MTN Group Ltd. and Vodacom Group Ltd. have already shown interest.

“Econet, through a number of its subsidiaries, is actively developing interests in Ethiopia,” a company spokesman told to Bloomberg.

“Given that there is a competitive process on new licenses, it would not be appropriate at this stage to discuss our own positioning,” he added.

Econet has operations in Africa in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Burundi, and investments in Europe and South America.