Orange and e& eyeing stake in Ethio Telecom

Ethio Telecom's 4G service launch

Ethio Telecom’s 4G service launch

Orange and UAE telco group e& are separately eyeing a 45% stake for sale in Ethiopia’s state-owned telco Ethio Telecom, according to a report by Bloomberg.

According to the reports, talks at an early stage are underway with both potential investors.

The Ethiopian government put the stake up for sale earlier this year as Ethio Telecom faced increasing competition from Vodafone, Vodacom and Safaricom, in which the former have an interest.

Ethiopia, a market of 100 million people but one ravaged by civil conflicts since 2018, is seen as one of the last big markets to be opened up for private investment in the continent.

Safaricom secured the first private commercial mobile licence to be awarded in the country two years ago.

The Ethiopian government has also invited expressions of interest in a further mobile licence.

A previous attempt to partially privatise Ethio Telecom was abandoned in March last year.

In the TV sector, both Canal+ and MultiChoice, in which Canal+ is a major investor, are active in the country.

Canal+ launched Ethiopia’s first premium DTH satellite offering in 2020, with MultiChoice announcing an upping of its investment in the country shortly afterwards.

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