The government announced that the current operation that it is undertaking in the northern part of the country will boost the confidence of investors and understand the resilience of the country.
The Ethiopian Communication Authority (ECA) has tendered the highly anticipated request for proposals (RFP) to add two more telecom operators in the country on the way of liberalizing the sector from the current monopoly of Ethio Telecom.
On the tender announcing press conference Eyob Tekalign, State Minister of Finance, said that the current mission that the government is taking in the north of the country against the TPLF junta would not have any effect on the process rather it is a relief for investors.
Regarding the government rule of law operation Eyob says, “It is an operation to assure rule of law in the country and thanks to our army the fugitives will be apprehended and brought to justice as quickly as possible.”
“Our investors I understand would know that actually Ethiopia is much better with this junta fully in custody that destabilizes the country and the continent,” he says, “in fact for any investor that looks at Ethiopia what this incident has shown is the resilience of Ethiopia and how the country is holding together. What this junta thought they would was to wreak havoc throughout the entire nation and the continent at large but the actual situation showed how the Ethiopian people have rejected any violent means of coming to power and in the matter of two weeks the entire capability of the junta has been diminished.”
“We are now looking at safeguarding Meqele as fast as possible so to uphold Ethiopia’s future vision. Ethiopia will move forward; in fact with more veer. So we do more in meaningful economic reform, and will put the country back on track on a sustainable foundation for decades to come,” he said as he elaborated the future situation after the current operation, “it is a relief for investor because any potential problem in the country has diminished for good.,” he added.
He said that the government has had a call with a pool of investors on Monday to explain the situation on the ground and gave them the context as well.
Balcha Reba, Director General of ECA, said that the bid will stay for three months and will be fully done by March.
This is a big market with 110 million people as far as the telecom industry is concerned it is the last frontier in the world.
The RFP document that has different annexes and different sample licenses is available on USD 15,000, which is more than half a million birr.
Balcha said that the bid document sales will continue until December 10, “In the meantime clarification will be given for interested bidders including the direct question and answer session on January 29, 2021,” he clarified.
The State Minister said that the next three months are critical because participants would be engaged with ECA and under the authority there is a team of experts that will respond to different questions that shall be raised by potential bidders.
Balcha told Capital that ECA has five international technical advisor institutions and five in house staff experts who will be engaged on the evaluation process.
Eyob indicated that the qualitative and financial proposals have got adequate and proportionate attention on the bidding process.
“We have to make sure the process have objective including fulfilling the goal of building inclusive digital economy and to build a first class telecom industry in the country,” Eyob explained.
The tender notice stated that the objectives of the telecommunications sector reform are to expand reliable and accessible communications for all Ethiopians in order to enhance the economic and social development of the country and promote rapid economic transformation and growth.
“Greater connectivity will lead to improvements in the quality of life for Ethiopians and maximize the opportunities presented by the digital economy,” the notice added.
“To that end as part of this process we have to make sure critical qualitative criteria are included in the bid process,” Eyob added.
He says, “We have a fairly good idea of what our spectrum is worth. We expect the license award will be known in 14 days after opening the bid.”
The bid closing date will be March 5, 2021 10 AM and after an hour it will be opened.
It has been more than two year since the government decided to open up the telecom sector for more players besides the current public monopoly. Since then massive preparation and several discussion have been held for the last two years.
The partial privatization process of Ethio Telecom is also expected to be in effect in the coming few weeks, while the government did not give any timeframe on when the bid will be announced.