MTN, Orange, Vodacom race for Ethiopia’s market

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MTN, Orange and Vodacom are among telecom operators that are vying to enter the Ethiopian market for the opportunity to serve its 105 million population.

The country has embarked on an ambitious initiative to privatize its telecommunications industry.

These developments come at a time when telecom, media and tech (TMT) investment and consolidation activity in Africa is predicted to reach a record high in 2019 as a number of significant deals, including the opening up of Ethiopia’s telecom sector, are scheduled.

The group reports that Ethiopia’s leading telecommunications service provider, Ethio Telecom, which has around 66 million subscribers, took a major step forward in its much-anticipated privatization last month by pre-selecting six consultancies in partnership with the World Bank.

TMT Finance stated that Ethio, previously known as the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation, will be split into two businesses, offering tremendous growth potential to new entrants.

Privatizations of telecom assets are also planned for service providers such as Togocom and Benin Telecom in West Africa, with consolidation investments expected in Kenya and Tunisia.

Meanwhile, Airtel has hired banks for an initial public offering (IPO) of its entire Africa portfolio while several telcos are bidding for Luxembourg-based Millicom’s assets. The acceleration of investment into mobile and broadband infrastructure across the region continues as operators and investors try to meet the need for data services.

In light of these developments, leaders from the largest African telecom, media and technology companies, investment banks and investors are set to meet to assess the latest investment opportunities at the annual TMT Finance Africa in Cape Town 2019 conference on March 28th.

More than 60 key speakers have been announced for the event, which features senior executives from major companies such as Vodacom, MTN, Helios Towers Africa, CSquared, Dark Fibre Africa, Convergence Partners, Seacom, Angola Cables, Standard Bank, IFC World Bank, DLA Piper, Rand Merchant Bank, WIOCC, Paix Data Centres, BCX, European Investment Bank, Investec Asset Management and GreenWish Partners among others.

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