ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian government has decided to sell 40 percent of its stake in Ethio Telecom, the country’s sole telecom service operator, Country’s Finance Ministry announced late Thursday.
Consultancy firm KPMG has already completed a valuation of the company. The documents are, now under review by the government.
State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign said 40 percent of Ethio Telecom shares will be sold to foreign companies as part of a partial privatization of the company.
He also said a minority stake will be sold to the Ethiopian Citizens.
The sale of a stake in will end the government’s monopoly in the telecom sector but it will retain ownership of the remaining 60 percent.
The announcement came on the same week country’s telecommunication regulator, Ethiopian Communication Authority (ECA) invited international investors to provide expressions of interest for two telecom licenses which enable them to work in a country of 110mln people.
Both moves of the government are part of the country’s plans for opening one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets.
The license will allow the winners to build, own and operate a nationwide telecommunications network, including an international gateway.
Speaking about the liberalization process in general, State minister Eyob stated that citizens should expect maximization of overall value from the public assets.
“The public can rest assured that the government is running this process in strict discipline and with close oversight of the prime minister himself as the macroeconomic team under him has the responsibility to make sure the process is run properly,” he told the state-run Ethiopian news agency.