The Safaricom-led consortium aims to start operations in Ethiopia next month but will stagger the rollout of the telecommunication services across various Ethiopian cities until next year, it said Thursday.
The Safaricom consortium, which also includes British development finance agency CDC Group and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, won the licence with a bid of $850 million (Sh97.9 billion) last year.
It had been tipped to launch commercial services on April 9, 2022, but this was delayed due to unexplained reasons. The first beneficiaries of the telecommunication services launch will be Dire Dawa - a city in eastern Ethiopia near the Oromia and Somali Region border -, said Safaricom.
“We will begin our phased launch in August 2022 in Dire Dawa and switch on the network in 24 cities across the country by April 2023,” Safaricom said during a media briefing with local journalists in Addis Ababa Thursday.
“Presently, we’ve recruited 500 staff of which 320 are Ethiopians, continuing with a focus on recruitment throughout the country.”