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MTN Group confirms bid for telecoms licence in Ethiopia

MTN group CEO Ralph Mupita.
MTN group CEO Ralph Mupita.

MTN Group confirms that it is participating with equity partners in a bid for a telecoms licence in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most-populous country.

In a statement the operator described the region as representing “…. the last and largest telco liberalisation opportunity in the world.”

The company stated that its participation is aligned with our strategy, Ambition 2025, focusing on capturing growth from digital acceleration across the continent.

It has been made in partnership with Silk Road Fund from China. Other partners will be disclosed on a successful bid outcome, the telco stated.

“Ethiopia provides the largest telecommunication and digital services growth opportunity in Africa over the medium term and fits into our pan-Africa focus and platform strategy. We are being guided by our capital allocation framework in our assessment of this opportunity,” commented MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita, in confirming the MTN and Silk Road Fund equity partnership bid.

According to MTN as at the end of 2020, it had 280 million subscribers across 21 markets.

Earlier this month the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) agreed to extend the deadline for the submission of bids for two available telecommunications operator licences until 26 April 2021.

The ECA said it had received several requests from bidders for more time to prepare documents.

In a statement, the ECA explained: “Due to requests by bidders to have more time to finalise their offer in light of the COVID-19 market environment, ECA determined their requests to be appropriate and the deadline for the submission of bids for the two new telecom operator licences is extended to April 26, 2021 at 10:00 am East African Time (EAT).”

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