The Ethiopian government failed to attract any bidders for its third telecoms licence according to sources speaking to Bloomberg, as investors are put off by the current political instability in the country.
Auction for the third licence is likely to be put on hold, as unrest is reported in several regions in the East African country, which only ceased a civil war between the government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front a year ago. A United Nations panel reported Ethiopia is at a high risk of seeing more war atrocities as tensions boil.
Ethiopia announced plans to auction a third telecoms licence in July to spur competition in the telecoms sector.
Ethiopia opened its doors to international companies and accepted Safaricom Ethiopia to rival state-owned Ethio Telecom in 2021. The Safaricom-led joint venture is also backed by Vodacom, Vodafone and Sumitomo Corporation. Business Daily reported, Safaricom gained over five million subscribers since launching commercial operations in 2022.