Since its establishment in September 2019, the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) has engaged in an intensive effort to spearhead the telecom liberalization effort in Ethiopia. In fulfilling its mandate to prepare the sector for a competitive environment as well as domestic and international investment in the sector, the Authority has issued fourteen (14) directives that set out the anticipated regulatory framework. No previous liberalization effort in the sector has aimed for and achieved such results in such a short period of time.

The Authority appreciates all stakeholders who provided their comments on the draft directives published for consultation in three rounds. The recent virtual meeting of 16 November 2020, in which over 120 stakeholders participated was a feedback process aimed at providing responses to stakeholders, and was an extension of the several months-long consultations as well as the Authority’s continued effort to ensure the process is achieved in a fair and transparent manner.

Despite this most transparent and engaging regulatory framework development exercise since October 2019, and currently underway by the ECA, it is unfortunate that unsubstantiated claims are being publicized by some operators on the licensing process to award two new telecom licenses in Ethiopia. Claims that the regulatory framework hasn’t yet been formally communicated to bidders is inaccurate and misleading.

The Authority will continue to exercise and maintain its regulatory mandate in an independent and transparent manner. It will also do its utmost to ensure that no outside influence, including efforts by some potential investors, will undermine the integrity of the process underway, including to indirectly influence the bid price of the licenses.

Ethiopian Communications Authority