Ethiopia Knocks Back Safaricom Shortlist Claims

“We wish to clarify that to date no proposals have been received for the 2 new telecom licenses, and no prospective bidder has been shortlisted, prequalified nor excluded from participating in the bid process,” said the Ethiopian Communication Authority in a tweet.

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The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) has denied claims that Kenya’s largest telco, Safaricom, had made it to the shortlist of six firms selected to bid for one of two telco licenses in Ethiopia. The licenses will be offered this year.

In a statement, the regulator explained “that to date no proposals have been received for the two new telecom licences, and no prospective bidder has been shortlisted, prequalified nor excluded from participating in the bid process. The RFP process is ongoing.”

Kenya-based Safaricom is bidding for a licence to enter the Ethiopian market alongside affiliates Vodacom Group and Vodafone Group under the name Global Partnership for Ethiopia. The authority had posted the RRP process, launched on 27 November 2020. The process is still underway, and the proposal submission deadline is April 5, 2021.

As of its last formal update on the identity of the bidders, the ECA said 12 expressions of interest had been received, including from major global mobile players including Orange, MTN Group, Saudi Telecom Company and Etisalat.

The eventual winning bidders will compete against the current monopoly, Ethio Telecom.

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