President Uhuru Kenyatta has told Ethiopians that the entry of Kenya’s technology giant Safaricom will help transform their country by positively impacting most sectors of the 112 million population economy. Using the example of Safaricom’s impact on the Kenyan economy over the years, President Kenyatta lauded Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed and his administration for choosing to liberalize the country’s telecommunications sector.
President Uhuru Kenyatta who was speaking on Tuesday evening in Addis Ababa during the issuance of an operation license to the Safaricom led Global Partnership for Ethiopia consortium which won a 91.8 billion shilings bid to operate in the country, President Uhuru asked the Ethiopian government to consider opening up opportunities for mobile money services as part of the telecommunications liberalization process.
He said mobile financial services are key in addressing various societal gaps particularly gender disparities as they open up opportunities for women to participate fully in economic development.
On his part, Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed said the award of the telecommunications license will catalyse inclusive prosperity. Dr Abiy said competition will create a vibrant telecommunications sector that will significantly contribute to the growth of the economy through creation of jobs and the rise of new MSMEs.
Global Partnership for Ethiopia which brings together Kenya’s Safaricom, South Africa’s Vodacom, UK’s Vodafone, British finance agency CDC Group, and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation won the 15-year license in a competitive bidding process making it the first private telecoms player in the country.