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Ethiopian Communication Authority officially announces the request for a proposal for two new telecommunication licenses. 

A tender notice published on Nov 27 reads as “Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA), as the regulator of the communications sector, intends to award two nationwide full‐service telecommunications licenses through a competitive bidding process.”

The Ethiopian government has been preparing to open the telecommunication market for more than two years now.

Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

It is remembered that Ethiopian Communications Authority requested for Expression of Interest to gauge the market interest and has announced that it received 12 expressions of interest. The 9 applications were from Telecom operators that included the Global Partnership for Ethiopia (a consortium of telecom operators made of Vodafone, Vodacom, and Safaricom) as well us Etisalat, Axian, MTN, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Telkom SA, Liquid Telecom, and Snail Mobile.

ECA has prepared and published dozens of directives, regulations, and frameworks to manage the upcoming competitive market. The recent ones being a Mobile Number Portability Directive, Telecommunications Wholesale National Roaming Directive, Universal Access, and Service Framework, and  Universal Access Fund Regulation.

Ethiopian Communication Authority and the Ministry of Finance hired the International Financial Corporation (IFC) as a transaction advisor of the liberalization process. Other firms that are part of the process includes Roland Burger, EY, GONG, Jones Day, and Coleago Consulting.

According to the tender Notice, ” the objectives of the telecommunications sector reform are to expand reliable and accessible communications for all Ethiopians in order to enhance the economic and social development of the country and promote rapid economic transformation and growth. Greater connectivity will lead to improvements in the quality of life for Ethiopians and maximize the opportunities presented by the digital economy”

Interested parties to engage in the process can request for “Request For Proposals” document by sending a written request, before December 10th, 2020 to or

The deadline for submitting the proposal for the bid is 10:00 a.m. East Africa Time (GMT+3), on March 5th, 2021.

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Anteneh Tesfaye, Founder and CEO of Shega, is interested in innovation and startup ecosystems across emerging markets.

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