Safaricom PLC, which is the lead partner in an international consortium named the Global Partnership for Ethiopia has been awarded the licence to operate telecom services in Ethiopia. The impact investment consortium aspires to support Ethiopia’s digital transformation and positively enhance the lives of its citizens.

Safaricom Plc, a partner member of the Vodafone Group will establish a new operating company in Ethiopia which aims to start providing telecommunications services from 2022. In addition to Safaricom, the partnership includes: Vodacom Group; Vodafone Group; Sumitomo Corporation – one of the largest international trading and business investment companies; and CDC Group – the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor.

Ethiopia is home to over 112 million people, making it the second-largest country in Africa by population. It is one of the last countries in the world to introduce competition in the telecom industry, a rigorous process started by the government in 2019 as part of its Economic Reform Agenda, with the support of the International Finance Corporation. The reforms aim to increase jobs, reduce poverty and grow the local economy in an inclusive and sustainable manner.

The Global Partnership for Ethiopia was created to bring about transformational economic and social impact in the country. The provision of accessible, affordable, and high-quality mobile and internet connectivity by the Partnership will enable greater social inclusion as millions more Ethiopians access quality telecom services. Increased connectivity in Ethiopia will also boost the economy, impacting over 1 million jobs with digital training and skills, and bringing about productivity improvements for countless micro-entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with the people of Ethiopia to set up telecom networks to deliver a digital lifestyle. In past years, we have seen the power of digital transformation and its impact on our customers. We believe by working with all stakeholders in Ethiopia, we can deliver a similar transformation while achieving a sustainable return to our shareholders.” Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom stated.

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