The government of Ethiopia could release additional shares in Ethio Telecom following the planned sale of an initial 49% stake scheduled in 2020.
Speaking to Bloomberg, the director general of the Ethiopian Communications Authority, Balcha Reba, noted that the market would need to become more mature and competitive before any release of further shares.
Ethiopia has been one of the last telecoms monopolies for some time, but its market is set for change next year, with two mobile licences slated for issue in March. As well as privatising part of the state-owned Ethio Telecom, the government is spinning off the operator’s services and retail into a separate unit from its fixed and mobile infrastructure.
Reba noted that more licences could be issued in the future – a statement which will not escape the notice of pan-African groups MTN, Orange and Vodacom, all of which have expressed interest in setting up an Ethiopian operation once the market is open to overseas operators.