There is little doubt that China has made achievements in the telecom sector. Their reforms were based on managed competition between state-owned companies. Now we will see the model replicated in a poor country. It will be good to see if it will work.
In addition, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that the state operator would be split in two in order to foster greater competition in the market, saying: “There will be two telecom corporations and shares will be sold in both. Somalia, with a population of 12 million, has four telecommunications firms. Ethiopia – with 100 million people – has one. There needs to be competition in the country.”
Opening up its monopoly on telecoms is a significant departure from Ethiopia’s previously cautious attitude towards private investment. If they can accept working with the government as the price to pay for access to one of the most untapped telecoms markets in the world, major telecoms will likely be interested.