Shareholders of Safaricom Plc, Kenya’s largest telco, have approved a proposal to create an operating company in Ethiopia.
With the approval, Safaricom will move ahead to create an operating company incorporated in Ethiopia with Safaricom as a majority shareholder commanding a 55.7 per cent stake in the entity.
In addition to Safaricom, the partnership includes: Vodacom Group; Vodafone Group; Sumitomo Corporation – one of the largest international trading and business investment companies; and CDC Group – the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor.
Shareholders of the company cleared the proposal, during the company’s Annual General Meeting held July 30th remotely.
Over 99 percent (48,914,345,389) shareholders were in favour compared to 0.2215 per cent (108,630,408) being against.
Ethiopia’s telecommunications regulator awarded an operating licence to the consortium ending the state’s monopoly over its stunted telecoms sector.
The consortium will invest $8.5 billion in their network during the coming 10 years.
Speaking at Safaricom’s 13th Annual General Meeting, Michael Joseph, Chairman of the Board, expressed confidence in the company’s ability to build a top-quality mobile network that will enable Ethiopia to access a world-class array of digital services.
Mr Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO said entry into Ethiopia has brought to life the company’s dream to expand beyond Kenya.
“Ethiopia is a critical part of our strategy under Mergers, Partnerships & Acquisitions. We are proud to lead this partnership that will provide quality and affordable mobile and internet connectivity to enable more Ethiopians to access quality telecommunications services.”
Ndegwa added: “Even as we start operations in Ethiopia, we pledge to continue investing in our country ensuring to always offer our customers superior network connectivity and efficiently enhance our network, products and services.”