Safaricom to commence operations in Ethiopia next year


Safaricom to commence operations in Ethiopia next year
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa during the launch of the operator's sustainability report on October 14, 2020. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • Safaricom has formed Vodafamily Ethiopia Holding Company,a firm incorporated in England and in which the local outfit holds a 90 per cent stake.
  • Safaricom is expected to hold a 55.7 per cent in the operating company to be created in Ethiopia.
  • The operator’s telco license will be for an initial term of 15 years with the right to apply to the Ethiopia Communication Authority (ECA) for an additional 15 years.

Leading Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom and partners are expected to commence commercial operations in Ethiopia next year.

This is according to new company disclosures made on Tuesday which further revealed the new operational web structure for the consortium which won a telco license bid over the weekend.

Safaricom has formed Vodafamily Ethiopia Holding Company, a firm incorporated in England and in which the local outfit holds a 90 per cent stake.

The SPV Company which other shareholders include Vodacom International Limited (10%) and a single share by Vodafone International Operations is expected to move to Kenya under the name Safaricomfamily Ethiopia Holding Company Limited.

The SPV will hold a 61.9 per cent stake in the Global Partnership for Ethiopia B.V. (GPE), an entity domiciled in the Netherlands.

Other shareholders in the entity include the Japanes Sumitomo Corporation and CDC Group Plc (both have been joint parties to Ethiopia’s license winning bid).

GPE will meanwhile own a newly incorporated operating company in Ethiopia to be named at a later date.

“As Safaricom will directly or indirectly hold more than a 50 per cent equity stake in each of the consortium companies, each such consortium company will become a subsidiary company of Safaricom,” the company stated.

The operator’s telco license will be for an initial term of 15 years with the right to apply to the Ethiopia Communication Authority (ECA) for an additional 15 years.

Safaricom is expected to hold a 55.7 per cent in the Opco.

Other shareholders in the Ethiopian operating unit will be the Sumitomo Corporation (27.2 per cent), CDC (10.9 per cent) and Vodacom (6.2) per cent.

“Ethiopia represents an attractive new market for Safaricom to expand into given that Safaricom operates in a neighboring country and sees the opportunity to deploy similar solutions to help overcome the challenges that both countries have in common,” added Safaricom.

“Safaricom looks forward to growing its business outside Kenya and to providing the Ethiopian consumers with world class services that Safaricom and its operating consortium members are renowned for.”

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