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Ethiopia formally issues telecom license to global consortium

The Ethiopian government on Tuesday signed an agreement to formally issue a telecom license to the Global Partnership for Ethiopia, a consortium of major operators.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta attended the signing ceremony.

Last month, the consortium, which includes Vodafone, Vodacom, Safaricom, Sumitomo Corporation, and the CDC Group, won the bid offering $850 million, $2 million more than the second-highest bidder.

The ownership structure of the deal has it that the Kenyan brand Safaricom takes 56% of the shares, Vodacom 6.2%, South Korean Suritumi 25%, and CDC 10%.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said: “It is very much historic day for us. Ethiopia would open up. It is a very big market. A historic moment for Ethiopia as well.”

“We’re quite excited about the opportunity of investing in Ethiopia, taking our services to yet another market,” he said.

According to the agreement, the consortium will inject $8 billion in domestic investment.

Earlier, Abiy received Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta upon his arrival in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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