The Ethiopian Government recognises that the country is being left behind in terms of digital inclusion, and urgently needs to address this if it wants to reap the benefits that other African countries have demonstrated from embracing ICTs, according to Research and Markets. It may also become an important political issue in upcoming elections.
While the Ethiopian Government is on record saying that it will not hasten the liberalisation process, and will not succumb to pressure from the international community to liberalise its banking and telecommunications sectors in order to accede to the WTO, there is no real reason for – or benefit to - delaying the process further.
Over the next five years the number of mobile subscribers in Ethiopia is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 43% (CAGR), reaching almost 20 million subscribers by 2014.
Ethiopia can provide a range of excellent investment opportunities for foreign investors interested in the ICT sector, but this window will not be open indefinitely. The next four years will be critical in shaping the Ethiopian ICT sector's future and will provide high return opportunities for foreign investors that have the risk tolerance, and ability, to capitalise on the coming surge in ICT-related markets.