Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia P.L.C. (STE), previously known as Global Partnership for Ethiopia BV (GPE), is an SPV awarded a licence to operate telecom services in Ethiopia at a license fee of US$850 million. This fee made it the single largest foreign direct investment into Ethiopia. The firm is expected to roll out telephony services from 2022. Safaricom Telecommunications PLC is a company supporting Ethiopia’s digital transformation.
As of 25 May 2021, the shareholding of GPE was expected to be as follows:
GPE proposed ownership
Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia P.L.C.
|Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia
||Subsidiary of Safaricom
||Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
||G.S.M related products and Mobile Money Transfer
- Masoko (e-commerce)
- Mobile Telephony
- Mobile Money transfer
- Consumer electronics
- Cloud computing
- Music Streaming
- Fibre Optic
In February 2022, STE completed the assembly of a Tier III, pre-fabricated data centre, that was manufactured in China. The data centre, which cost US$100 million, will be used to route voice, internet and network communications on the STE network and to store data. The data center is reported to be the size of a “shipping container”
In April 2022, STE agreed in principle with Ethio Telecom for the latter to provide STE access to “cell sites, masts and other active elements such as network roaming”. While the details have not been revealed as of 20 April 2022, a deal is imminent and an agreement is expected to be signed “soon”
SAFARICOM SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE PLAN FOR ETHIOPIA OPERATIONS IN 2022
30 July 2021
Safaricom shareholders today gave their nod for the setting up and incorporation of the Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC, the company that will begin operation in Ethiopia by next year.
Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC was set up early this month after the consortium led by Safaricom was awarded licence to operate telecommunication services in Ethiopia.
The Global Partnership for Ethiopia consortium brings together Vodacom Group, Vodafone Group, Sumitomo Corporation and CDC Group. The companies from Kenya, South Africa, Japan and The United Kingdom have proven experience in telecommunications with large-scale network deployment capabilities, operations and service provision.
Anwar Soussa, appointed the Managing Director to lead setting up of the operations, will report to the board of directors of the Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC and Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom PLC Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC is expected to create digital transformation that will positively impact the economic and social lives of Africa’s second-largest country, Ethiopia, home to over 112 million people.
Speaking at Safaricom’s 13th Annual General Meeting, Michael Joseph, Chairman of the Board, expressed confidence in the company’s ability to build a top-quality mobile network that will enable Ethiopia to access a world-class array of digital services.
“The board is committed to working with management to deliver value to our shareholders but, most importantly, to ensure we continue to be there for our customers, staff and the community, especially in this new phase,” said Mr. Joseph.
Mr. Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO said entry into Ethiopia has brought to life the company’s dream to expand beyond Kenya.
Mr. Ndegwa said: “Ethiopia is a critical part of our strategy under Mergers, Partnerships & Acquisitions. We are proud to lead this partnership that will provide quality and affordable mobile and internet connectivity to enable more Ethiopians to access quality telecommunications services.”
Mr. Ndegwa added: “Even as we start operations in Ethiopia, we pledge to continue investing in our country ensuring to always offer our customers superior network connectivity and efficiently enhance our network, products and services.”
During the AGM, shareholders also approved the final dividend of KES0.92 per share with the dividend payout amounting to KES36.8 billion. The dividend will be payable on or before 31 August 2021 to the shareholders on the Register of Members as at close of business 30 July 2021. Safaricom had previously approved an interim dividend of KES0.45 per share amounting to KES18 Billion which was paid to shareholders on 31 March 2021.
Despite the pandemic, Safaricom exhibited resilience during the year to sustain overall performance. This was coupled with operational efficiency and improved asset utilization that boosted recovery especially in the second half of the year. The company recorded flat growth in the financial year ending March 2021 and is set to roar back into growth in 2021.
“We are proud of how resilient our business and financial performance has been during these challenging times. We remain optimistic of the future despite the tough economic times as we implement the new strategy of being a purpose-led technology company,” said Mr. Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO.
Consortium led by Safaricom wins Ethiopian operating licence
May 7 (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s telecommunications regulator awarded one operating licence to a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom (SCOM.NR) Vodafone (VOD.L), and Japan’s Sumitomo (8053.T) Brook Taye, a senior adviser at the finance ministry, said on Saturday.
The consortium, which includes Vodacom (VODJ.J) and British development finance agency CDC Group, paid $850 million for the licence, Brook said. South Africa’s MTN (MTNJ.J) had also bid for a licence.
Africa’s second-most populous country is hoping that the opening of one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets will create millions of online job opportunities.
The awarding of the new licence marks the “beginning of a new era in our country,” the Ethiopian Communications Authority said on Twitter.
As as as the licence fee, the consortium plans to invest up to $8.5 billion in infrastructure among other areas, Brook said, adding that it was expected to create up to one and a half million jobs.
“With over $8 billion total investment, this will be the single largest FDI (foreign direct investment) into Ethiopia to date,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Twitter.
The operator will begin with 4G services, Brook said.
“We will soon open a bid for the remaining licence,” said Balcha Reba, director-general of the Ethiopian Communications Authority.
Balcha said MTN’s offer of $600 million was deemed too low.
Safaricom in 2019 had estimated that it would have to pay about $1 billion for a new licence.
Representatives from Vodacom and CDC Group declined to comment. Vodafone and Sumitomo Group could not immediately be reached for comment. Safaricom said that the company would issue a statement on Monday.
The Ethiopian government is also preparing to sell a 45% stake in state-run mobile operator, Ethio Telecom. Earlier this month, the operator launched a mobile phone-based financial service.
For the moment, only Ethio Telecom will be able to offer mobile financial services as foreign operators are currently barred by law from participating. However, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that mobile financial services would be opened up to competition after a year.
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