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MTN CEO Tells Shareholders He Wants to Try Again To Get an Ethiopian Telecom License

MTN CEO Ralph Mupita. Image via MTN.

MTN chief executive Ralph Mupita told his company’s shareholders on Friday that if given the chance, he’d like to resubmit a bid for an Ethiopian telecom license. MTN and its backers from the Silk Road Fund of China were outbid last month by a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation for one of two licenses that were up for auction.

Ethiopian authorities have not said when the second license will be available for auction. At the same time, there may be issues with the Safaricom-Sumitomo deal for that first operating license. The U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) provided $500 million of financing to bolster their bid, but that’s now in question following the Biden administration’s new sanctions against the Ethiopian government over the war in the Tigray region.

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