President Uhuru Kenyatta is in Ethiopia for a state visit. He was received at the airport by senior government officials including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. During his visit, the President is scheduled to witness the issuance of a telecommunications licence to Safaricom and to discuss other issues of mutual concern.

President Uhuru was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo of Foreign Affairs and Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru of ICT and Innovation.

Earlier this year, an international consortium led by Safaricom, comprising of Vodafone and Vodacom, UK’s CDC Group and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, won a Ksh. 91.8 billion bid to operate in Ethiopia. The tender has increased Safaricom’s share rally to new heights as it aims to grow its presence in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian government disclosed that it had received 2 offers, the other was from MTN from Johannesburg, and partners including the Silk Road Fund, a Chinese state investment group.

The Global Partnership for Ethiopia stated that the rigorous process was started by the government in 2019 as part of its Economic Reform Agenda. This was with the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and is expected to increase job opportunities, reduce poverty and grow the local economy in an inclusive and sustainable manner.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with the people of Ethiopia to set up telecom networks to deliver a digital lifestyle,” Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said.

Mr. Ndegwa added that in past years, Safaricom has seen the power of digital transformation and its robust impact on customers and by working with all stakeholders in Ethiopia. The firm will deliver a similar transformation while achieving a sustainable return for shareholders.