What Happened: Ethiopia will break Ethio Telecom into two businesses as it prepares to open the state-owned enterprise to foreign investment and partial privatization, Reuters reported June 17, citing a report by state broadcaster Fana, later confirmed by Finance Minister Eyob Tekalign Tolina.
Why It Matters: Ethio Telecom is one of Africa's largest telecommunications providers by subscribers. Opening up Ethiopia's telecommunications sector will provide a huge opportunity for potential investments and telecom partners like MTN, Orange and others.
Background: Since coming into office in April 2018, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his allies have sought to liberalize key sectors of the Ethiopian economy. Last week, Ethiopia's parliament passed a law that will allow a new regulatory agency to issue licenses to private investors.
- Ethiopia Comes to a Crossroads on Economic Reform (April 3, 2019)
- Ethiopia Offers Investors a Tantalizing, If Tainted, Promise (Nov. 22, 2018)