ECA Suspends Plans to Privatise Ethio Telecom

In May, the Ethiopian Telecommunication Authority (ECA) issued a statement announcing that the country would now be open to selling a 40% stake in the state-owned company, Ethio Telecom. In response to this announcement, Safaricom and, its parent company, Vodacom both expressed their interest.

However, it looks as though this opportunity was short-lived as the ECA has since suspended its plans to privatize the telco.

The Ethiopian Telecommunication Authority (ECA) has since suspended its plans to privatize Ethio Telecom.
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According to TechNext, Africa’s oldest telco supplies more than 40 million of 115 million Ethiopians with mobile network and Internet services.

But in recent times, locals have began calling out the slow, unreliable internet connection and poor network quality offered by the company. This is reportedly due to the company’s unwillingness to repair or replace its outdated facilities.

“The shutting out of potential private equity investors in Ethio Telecom will impact the number of its mobile subscribers and the extent of its mobile broadband penetration. This is because the state-owned company will remain the sole mobile network operator and Internet service provider in Ethiopia.”

Ethiopian Airlines Fighting for Survival Amid Pandemic

In early March, Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremarium told an aviation conference in Addis Ababa the coronavirus pandemic was “a temporary problem” – comparable to a natural disaster or a spike in oil prices, writes News24.

Now, several months later Africa’s largest flight carrier is locked in what Tewolde is describing as “a struggle that we’re performing for survival.” The airline has been ramping up cargo operations while seeking to defer lease payments on aircraft.

“To be honest with you, I had never thought that it would reach this stage,” Tewolde told AFP in an interview this week. “I had never thought that it would spread like this at this speed, and also in this magnitude. It is just too fast and too expansive and it’s beyond imagination.”

Across Africa, airlines stand to lose $6 billion in passenger revenue in 2020 compared to last year because of the coronavirus, the International Air Transport Association has predicted.