Liberalization U-turn?

Helios Towers Is The Poster Child For Ethiopia’s Now Complex Telecoms Reform


November 11, 2020

Making “unauthorized calls” on Skype remains a punishable offense in Ethiopia, and that reality tells the story of the country’s troubled telecoms industry. 

Ethiopia’s telecommunications sector has to be one of the most-talked-about in Africa, at least in the past 6 months. 

While snappy developments occur around the continent, the limelight is shone on the Horn of Africa nation that wants to welcome other operators to the telecom party finally. Nevertheless, it appears the function is now strictly by invitation. 

“Liberalization” is the keyword in the country’s efforts towards digitization and economic reformation. But recent developments have somewhat suggested that fully opening up the telecom sector would either take significantly longer or cost incredibly more. 

The scarehead which best captures the narrative is: Ethiopia has blacklisted foreign telecom infrastructure companies amid liberalization. 

Although the reasons for such decisi...

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