Ethiopia Will Achieve Connect Agenda for Global Telecommunication/ICT Development Before 2030: Authority

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Addis Ababa (ENA) November 30/2022 The telecommunication sector reform underway in Ethiopia will enable the country to achieve the Connect 2030 Agenda for Global Telecommunication/ICT Development before 2030, according to the Ethiopian Communications Authority.

The Connect 2030 Agenda for Global Telecommunication/ICT Development focuses on how technological advances will contribute to accelerate the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Communications Authority Director-General, Balcha Reba told ENA that Ethiopia will surely achieve the SDGs 2030 target for the sector if it keeps moving at the current pace of telecom  reform. 

“We are very sure that Ethiopia will really achieve the Sustainable Development Goals even before 2030, if we really keep up with the pace we are now moving.”   

The Government of Ethiopia has been carrying out telecommunication reform, including  privatization and liberalization. 

According to the director general, the country has recently put out a bid for the third telecommunication operator by partially privatizing the state-owned Ethio telecom that will sell 40 percent of its ownership to a private company. 

Ethiopia has already achieved certain milestones from the liberalization and partial privatization of the telecom sector, he stated.  

“We have already opened up our sector. Now we have two operators operating in this nation: Safaricom Ethiopia and Ethio telecom… We  just launched the second new license or the third license process two weeks ago.”

The country has launched the 40 percent partial privatization of the incumbent Ethio telecom, which has been the sole telecom operator in Ethiopia for over a century. 

“The effort of the government in introducing this privatization and liberalization is to make sure that the people really benefit from the advantage that they can tap from the competition,” Balcha said, adding that competition will bring in tariff reduction, quality of services as well as infrastructure availability, accessibility and reliability for the people. 

The objective of the telecom reform in Ethiopia is to bring in accessibility in infrastructure in every corner of the nation and at the same time to improve the quality of service as well as to bring in affordability.

Stating that achieving universal access and service is the main aim of the telecom reform, the director-general said the government has put in place new universal access and service framework to support telecom operators to ensure the inclusive benefit of the people in the country. 

Ethiopia has about 26 million mobile internet and 600,000 fixed broadband users through Ethio telecom, it was learned.