President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday in Addis Ababa witnessed the issuance of an operating license to the Safaricom-led Global Partnership for Ethiopia consortium which won a Kshs 91.8 billion bid to operate in the country. The Head of State’s delegation to Ethiopia comprised top government officials, the leadership of Safaricom as well as Raila Odinga’s allies, led by Suna East and BBI Joint Secretariat co-chair Junet Mohamed.
”Glad to have accompanied H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta to Ethiopia to witness the historic issuance of an operating license to Safaricom to venture in the country. Ethiopia is liberalizing critical sectors of its economy and Kenya is a natural business partner,” Junet Mohamed said on Wednesday.
While in Addis, President Uhuru told Ethiopians the entry of Kenya’s technology giant Safaricom will help transform their country by positively impacting most sectors of the 112 million population economy.
Using the example of Safaricom’s impact on the Kenyan economy over the years, President Kenyatta lauded Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed and his administration for choosing to liberalize the country’s telecommunications sector.
“Today’s ceremony is the first step in an exciting and rewarding opportunity for Ethiopia. Kenya has seen the great gains and opportunities unleashed by Safaricom across the entirety of our socio-economic landscape.
“Ethiopia now stands at the cusp of making even greater strides in Safaricom’s areas of strength; which include digital presence, mobile money, telephony, data and fibre connectivity, and business solutions,” President Kenyatta said.
On his part, Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed said the award of the telecommunications license will catalyse inclusive prosperity.
Dr. Abiy said competition will create a vibrant telecommunications sector that will significantly contribute to the growth of the economy through the creation of jobs and the rise of new MSMEs.
Other speakers at the colorful event were the Chief Executive Officers of Safaricom Peter Ndegwa, Ethiopian Communications Authority Bacha Reba and Vodafone South Africa Shameel Joosub.
President Kenyatta was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Joe Mucheru (ICT).