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The Global Partnership for Ethiopia

In May 2021, an international consortium named the Global Partnership for Ethiopia, comprising Safaricom Plc, Vodacom Group, Vodafone Group, Sumitomo Corporation and CDC Group, was awarded a licence to operate telecom services in Ethiopia.

This is the first new telecoms licence in the country, bringing competition to the market. The consortium is not buying or investing in Ethio Telecom, which will be a competitor to our business, and other new entrants to the market.

The Government of Ethiopia has committed that the fee the consortium is paying for that new telecoms licence will be used to pay down the national debt and the debts of other state-owned enterprises. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and International Finance Corporation have all confirmed the same. 

The consortium wants to operate telecom services in Ethiopia that benefit people in all regions of the country. The world-class telecom networks that we will create in Ethiopia will help the country to introduce digital services which are the foundation of every modern economy.

We aim to create and enhance over one million jobs in the next decade, help over three million small businesses to grow, assist tens of millions of smallholder farmers to improve prices and yields, and improve inclusion across the country through increased access to connectivity, financial services, health and education. In addition, the consortium will help Ethiopia to meet its environmental commitments.

As a member of the UN Global Compact, Vodafone takes the human rights situation extremely seriously when making a decision to invest in a country. Our experience around the world indicates that improving access to telecom services helps people to exercise their rights and freedoms, such as the right to free expression. Furthermore, the independent human rights impact assessment the consortium commissioned as part of our pre-bid due diligence will inform our approach in Ethiopia.  

Ethiopia has a proud history and huge social and economic potential, which access to modern digital technology can help unlock. Our intention is to be a long-term investor in Ethiopia that helps to build a positive future for people across the country.

For more information, please see the original press release.