MTN loses bid to operate in Ethiopia

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South Africa’s MTN has failed to clinch a bid for a telecommunications operating licence in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s telecommunications regulator announced on Saturday that it had awarded the licence to a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom and Japan’s Sumitomo, in a move that will end the state’s monopoly over its telecoms sector.

Others in the consortium, include Vodacom Group SA, Vodafone Group UK, Development Finance Corporation and British development finance agency CDC Group.

The consortia submitted a financial bid of $850 million. South Africa’s MTN put a bid of $600m. In a statement, the Ethiopia government said this marks the end of a decades long state monopoly and a transparent process which began in October last year.

It added that the Safaricom-led consortium is set to create up to 1.5 million new jobs and bring $8.5bn in investment over 10 years.