MTN Looks to Enter Ethiopia as Its Market Moves to OpenOne of the world's largest telecommunications companies, MTN Group Ltd. has identified Ethiopia as a rare new market into which Africa’s largest wireless carrier wants to expand.

“There are a few large markets that are under-penetrated and where there is scope for a No. 1 or No. 2 operator, like Ethiopia,” Chief Executive Officer Rob Shuter said in an interview at Bloomberg’s London office. “That’s obviously one where we would be really excited to participate, in some way.’’

The move would fit with the Shuter’s focus on markets in which the carrier can be a major player, and where there’s an opportunity to seize on a consumer shift to mobile banking and other data services from voice. He’s been pulling MTN out of regions that don’t fit that strategy and is looking to sell holdings where it doesn’t have a controlling stake.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said last year he is looking to bring in private investors to the country’s telecommunications sector for the first time, prompting interest from operators keen to tap into Africa’s second-biggest population and one of its fastest-growing economies.

The Horn of Africa nation is currently dominated by Ethio Telecom, a state monopoly. Vodacom Group Ltd., MTN’s Johannesburg rival, has also shown an interest to invest in the country.

Source: Bloomberg


Reykjavik Geothermal to Begin Exploration Drilling for 4.4bn Energy Project in EthiopiaReykjavik Geothermal, a power developer backed by hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II, is about to kick off a $4.4 billion project to bring volcanic energy to Ethiopia.

Tapping long-built Icelandic expertise in channeling volcanic power, the developer is preparing to start exploration drilling in September for two 500-megawatt plants in Corbetti and Tulu Moye, south of the capital Addis Ababa.

At full-scale, each project would become the largest independent power producer in Africa, according to RG. The Reykjavik-based company’s exploration teams have picked spots to drill where they can see steam rising from the ground, according to Bloomberg.

“All the results from the surface exploration work indicate that we are developing projects in a huge caldera, huge active volcanoes which can sustain at least 1,000 megawatts or more,” Gunnar Orn Gunnarsson, RG’s chief operating officer, said in an interview in Reykjavik.

The projects would become a vital cog in Ethiopia’s drive to become a middle-income country by 2025.

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Isuzu Motors To Open Assembly Plant in EthiopiaIsuzu Motors Ltd said it has finalized preparations to open a vehicle assembly plant in Ethiopia in August 2019.

Mr. Taro Kunifusa, General Manger of the company, announced the plan during the talk he had with Ambassador of Ethiopia to Japan, Kassa Tekleberhan.

A Japanese vehicle manufacturer, Isuzu Motors supplies a wide range of products to the Ethiopian market, trucks in particular.

“We want to engage in other investment sectors to take advantage of Ethiopia huge market potential. We have finalized preparations to open a vehicle assembly plant in August 2019” he said.

Ambassador Kassa assured the company of government’s commitment to provide the support the company needed to set up an assembly plant.

The ambassador also briefed other officials of the company about the investment opportunities in Ethiopia, according to Ethiopian Embassy in Tokyo.

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EIC Launches Online Investment Service PlatformEthiopian Investment Commission (EIC) has launched an online service platform where investors can apply for new investment license and renewing investment permit.

The platform aimed at providing efficient and reliable investment for investors regardless of geographical locations, according to EIC Commissioner, Abebe Abebayehu.

Addressing the ceremony, Commissioner Abebe said that the online platform will allow foreign investors to be able to access and register their new investment licenses from the comfort of their offices and be able to renew their licenses as well.

In addition, application for tax holiday incentive support of eligible projects, application for duty-free incentive support qualified projects were among the other services mentioned.

During the occasion, Senior Private Sector Specialist, East Africa, International Finance Corporation, at World Bank Group, Heinz-Wilhelm Strubenhoff said the online platform will have of a paramount importance to save time, effort and cost.

Accordingly, the online service will complement the ongoing reforms. “We are happy to invite the whole world to this country,” he noted.

The Chinese language Web-portal also launched alongside the investment online service platform during the occasion. Commissioner Abebe also noted that we believe this portal will give Chinese investors all the required information to invest in Ethiopia.


ADBs Sustainable Energy Fund Approves about One mln USD Grant to EthiopiaThe Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), managed by the African Development Bank has approved close to one million USD grant to support the roll out of a sustainable procurement framework for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in Ethiopia.

SEFA has approved 995,000 USD grant that will encourage private investments into hydro power projects through Ethiopia’s Renewable Energy Program.

The Bank’s acting Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, Wale Shonibare said “well-structured procurement framework is crucial in mobilizing the investments necessary to achieve universal energy access in Africa.”

The SEFA program will boost private IPPs participation, and spur investments into the Ethiopian hydro power sector, he added.

As Ethiopia has a vast but untapped renewable energy potential, the government has outlined a National Electrification Program (NEP), targeting universal access by 2025 through a 65% on-grid, and 35% off grid combination. The goal is to transform the country into a regional energy hub by 2030.

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