Huawei Technologies Corp. seeks to get more business in Ethiopia and “is likely to move” its regional office from the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) to Ethiopia, where it currently has a country office. Huawei’s move is aimed at Ethiopia’s economy opening up its telecommunications sector, Bloomberg reported.
“Ethiopia is rising and becoming much more important for the future,” Loise Tamalgo, Huawei’s head of public relations for 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, said in an interview in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan.
“Our strategy is very simple,” Tamalgo said. The company plans to leverage its position as the main vendor of the state-owned monopoly Ethio Telecom to bid for opportunities in the country, he said.
Liberalization of the telecom industry is at the forefront of what Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in 2018 would be a wide-ranging privatization program. The plan was intended to bring in much needed foreign exchange and boost the economy while improving connectivity across the Horn of Africa nation.
Ethiopia is seeking to double its mobile towers to about 14,000, which would require an investment of up to $1.1 billion, and build out its fiber-optic network from less than 30,000 kilometers currently, according to the Ethiopian Communications Authority. It also plans to sell a 40% stake in Ethio Telecom and issue two new telecom licenses next year.