ADDIS-ABEBA (Reuters) – French telecommunications company Orange has submitted an expression of interest to participate in the ongoing partial privatization of Ethiopian company Ethio Telecom, Ethiopia’s ambassador to Paris said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Henok Teferra Shawl said in a tweet that Orange had “formally expressed its interest in participating in the partial privatization of @ethiotelecom”.
Ethiopia last month launched a tender for the proposed divestiture of a 40% stake in state-owned operator Ethio Telecom to private investors, as part of the government’s broader plan to open the economy of the Horn of Africa country.
Telecommunications business in Ethiopia, a country of over 100 million people and one of the region’s largest economies, is considered lucrative and is expected to attract significant investor interest.
As part of the process of opening up the telecommunications sector in May, the authorities granted the first private operator license to a consortium led by Safaricom of Kenya, Vodafone and Sumitomo of Japan.
Ethio Telecom announced an 18.4% increase in revenue at the end of June to 56.5 billion birr ($ 1.29 billion).
(Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; written by Elias Biryabarema, edited by Louise Heavens)