Ethiopia Looking for Transaction Advisor to Partially Privatize Ethio Telecom

By Staff Reporter

Eyob-Tekalegn-state-ministerSeptember 26, 2019 ( -- Ethiopia has issued expression of interest for a transaction adviser which will be controlling the privatization process for state-run Ethio Telecom, says Ethiopian official.

In a press briefing on Thursday September 26, 2019, State Minister of Finance and International Cooperation Eyob Tekalegn said “We are working on hiring a capable and neutral transaction advisory firm to lead the partial privatization of the Ethio Telecom.”

Among other things, the advisory team will be involved in the pricing of the partial privatization of the ethio-telecom and presenting proposal to the government.

The request for expressions of interest for a transaction advisor firm has been posted on Thursday September 26, 2019 on the website of the ministry will be closed after two weeks.

According to Eyob, the process of privatizing the state-owned enterprises is well in progress in a transparent way that ensures the benefits of the public.

The state minister said privatizing the Ethio telecom emanates from boosting its efficiency and competitiveness in the international telecom industry, building digital economy and modernizing the sector.

Earlier Ethio Telecom had appointed international consulting firm KPMG to help with a process aimed at selling off stakes in the telecom.

Eyob said another adviser will be appointed in coming weeks to oversee licensing in the telecoms sector.

Public Enterprises Holding and Administration Agency will select and probably engage in the consulting firm on November 1, 2019, Eyob added.

The government said in July this year it will award two telecoms licenses to multinational mobile companies, in the first detailed announcement of the government’s plans for opening one of the world’s last major closed telecom markets.

The government will also offer a minority stake in Ethio Telecom, the monopoly operator, and foreign firms will be invited to bid.

Eyob said it was too early to say what percentage of the state-run telecom will be sold off.

Ethiopia’s telecom industry is considered the big prize in a push to liberalize the country’s economy because of its huge protected market serving a population of around 100 million.

The state minister further revealed that the process of privatizing sugar factories is underway as energy reform roadmap is being finalized.

Critics say the real problem with the sale of Ethio Telecom is not that the government is letting go one of the public’s prized strategic state infrastructure to a foreign operator, but the fact that the (government) putting the cart before the horse.

Critics say privatization for economies like that of Ethiopia requires not only the restructuring of the overall economy, but also the creation of private property and the institutions of a market economy, while ensuring the maximization of economic growth and the minimization of social, economic, and political disorder.

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