Orange withdraws from Ethio Telecom Stake Acquisition


Orange has taken a step back from its decision to acquire a 45% stake in Ethiopian operator Ethio Telecom.

According to the French-owned telecom, market conditions are not conducive for a successful investment.

In June 2021, Orange expressed interest in buying a 40% stake in Ethio Telecom. However, in March 2022, the sale was postponed due to economic conditions. The process was later reactivated in November 2022, and in February, the stake was increased.

In May 2021, a consortium led by Kenya’s top operator, Safaricom, secured the first private licence to compete with Ethio Telecom. However, further competition has been hindered by various factors, including, a two-year civil war in the northern Tigray region that ended in November 2022 and difficult macroeconomic conditions.

Earlier this month, the Ethiopian government cancelled the process of granting a second private telecoms licence due to insufficient market interest. This decision highlights the ongoing challenges that the telecom sector in Ethiopia is currently facing.

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