June 13, 2019 / 4:34 PM / 3 days ago

Ethiopia pursues liberalised telecoms by approving scope of regulator

ADDIS ABABA, June 13 (Reuters) - Ethiopia passed a bill outlining the scope of a regulator for the telecoms sector, a key milestone towards attracting outside investment, lawmaker Tesfaye Daba told Reuters on Thursday.

With a population of 100 million, Ethiopia is one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets but may need up to $2.2 billion to modernise its infrastructure, State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign Tolina told Reuters.

Ethiopia’s economy is one of the fastest growing in Africa and multinational mobile companies are waiting for the powers and responsibilities of the regulator to be codified as Ethiopia wants to award licenses by the end of the year.

Ending a state monopoly of the East African nation’s telecoms industry is considered the big prize in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s push to liberalise the economy. (Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; writing by Katharine Houreld and Alexander Smith)

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