Vodacom eyes entry into Ethiopia 

In a move to diversify its earnings base. 

Vodacom is targeting an entry into Ethiopia in partnership with Safaricom, a leading mobile network operator in Kenya, according to a report by Business Day

Safaricom is Vodacom’s associate company, as it holds a more than 34 percent shareholding in the company. 

In an interview with Business Day, Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub (pictured) said Ethiopia is “probably the most attractive” potential new market for Vodacom. 

“But the opportunities are not that clear yet — there are indications that Ethiopia will issue additional licences, and potentially take in a strategic partner for the existing [government-owned] Ethio Telecom, but there’s nothing yet in terms of actual processes and so on,” said Shameel.

In line with its telecommunications peers, Vodacom has been looking to diversify its earnings base, which largely relies on the South African market. Its rival MTN has targeted markets with large populations and low cell phone and internet penetration rates.

For Vodacom, a successful entry into Ethiopia would be a boon. According to the World Bank, the country has a population of 105 million as of 2017. Meanwhile, South Africa has a population of 54 million.