Ethiopia has moved to sell off a 40% stake in state-owned carrier Ethio Telecom to private investors, a report said on Monday.
According to Reuters news agency, the move is part of the government’s broader plan to open up the economy.
Interested investors are invited to submit expressions of interest.
“The government wants state-owned enterprises to be competitive and productive,” the report quoted Zinabu Yirga, deputy director of public enterprises holding and administration as saying.
Ethiopia is also moving to license private operators to compete with Ethio Telecom, the report said.
The first private operator license went to a consortium led by Safaricom, Vodafone, and Japan’s Sumitomo, for which the consortium was said to have paid $850 million.
According to Developing Telecoms, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali presented the license at a ceremony in Addis Ababa.
A second license is still up for grabs after an MTN-led consortium was deemed to have made too low a bid, the report said.