Awarding of Telecom License Milestone to Realizing Digitalization, Dev’t: Senior Advisor

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Addis Ababa May 26/2021 (ENA) The awarding of telecom license to Global Partnership for Ethiopia is a milestone decision that helps the nation to ensure digitalization and overall development, Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Finance said.

Finance Ministry Senior Advisor, Brook Taye told ENA that the awardee operator will engender a new phase in the country’s economic growth trajectory.

“Over the next 10 years, the group is committed to investing over 8 billion USD and this is by way of investing new infrastructure in the telecom sector, providing broadband and data service, schools, agriculture. All the key economic aspects will benefit from this,” Brook said.

According to him, the group will start services with 4G and 5G connectivity services at rural and urban parts of the country, respectively. “This would mean significant improvement in our telecommunication service.”

Besides creating up to 1.5 million new jobs, the consortium will launch Low Orbital Satellite by 2023 to cover the entire territory of Ethiopia, the senior advisor stated.

According to Brook, 71 percent of Ethiopia’s population is under the age of 30, of which 41 percent is between the ages of 15 to 29. stated, noted:

“All of these young entrepreneurs would utilize the Internet to create their own future in terms of creating job in the international market as well. When you have good Internet connection and laptop, it means you are joining the global economy and no more looking for a job in Ethiopia only.”

He further noted that services could also be Ethiopia’s next major exportable items with the availability of good Internet connection and improved services.

Commenting on the rumor about debt financing problem the consortium is facing, the senior advisor said “as far as we are concerned a license is awarded to the Global Partnership for Ethiopia and this is the partnership that created this entity.”

“So whatever debt related discussion there is it is up to the Global consortium to figure out and finalize. Our RFP is very restrict and we have requested 500 million USD corporate demand guarantee. If there is a failure of payment, that guarantee will be drawndown. So there is no issue in terms of payment,” Brook explained.

The Global Partnership for Ethiopia consortium includes Vodacom, Vodafone, Sumitomo Corporation,CDC Group and Safaricom.