In Ethiopia, the Safaricom-led consortium has announced that it is a heartbeat away from hitting its target of establishing a presence in the country’s 24 cities by next April after it revealed an expansion to five more cities.
The additional five cities include Hawassa, Assela, Jigjiga, Sodo and Dilla.
While announcing the new development, Safaricom Ethiopia CEO Anwar Soussa said, “We are delighted to grow our coverage into Hawassa, Assela, Jigjiga, Sodo and Dilla with more cities set to join the growing Safaricom Ethiopia family. We are also thrilled to have expanded our services into more regional states.”
Safaricom is the Ethiopian consortium’s major shareholder, including UK’s Vodafone, South Africa’s Vodacom, Sumitomo Corporation and British International Investment.
According to media reports, the consortium spent over US$850 million on acquiring the Ethiopian licence and further injected US$300 million as capital expenditure in 2022.
If you recall, at the time of the launch of the operation in the market-rich country, the telco had projected to switch on the network in at least 24 cities by April 2023, a target that now seems well on course at only three cities shy.
In November 2022, Safaricom Ethiopia crossed the one million mark in subscriber numbers just a month after the launch of operations, pointing to the telco’s warm reception in the expansive market whose huge population comes second in Africa after Nigeria’s.