Safaricom Shares slightly rallied by 0.71% but stabilized to 28.50 this morning after news on talks to acquire stake in Ethio Telecom went public today. Safaricom’s Acting Chief Executive Michael Joseph yesterday said they were at an advanced level of talks with the Ethiopian regulators to get licence of operations; starting from scratch or through an acquisition into Ethio Telecom.
The State owned-Ethio Telecom currently has a monopoly, being the only company to provide voice, SMS and data services in Ethiopia with more than 44 million customers in a country with a population of more than 100 million.
Multinational firms, including Kenya’s Safaricom, MTN Group, Orange and Vodafone, have all shown an interest in bidding for licences.
In 2018, the Ethiopian government announced plans to gradually privatize state-owned enterprises in a bid to expand the role of the private sector, increase foreign direct investment, revitalize the economy, and reduce unemployment and poverty rates.
This becomes the third attempt by Safaricom to get into Ethiopia after the government postponed talks of M-Pesa entrance into one of the regions most robust economy.