ICT in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian government is the main growth driver of the country’s emerging information and communication technology (ITC) industry and it is placing great emphasis on using ICT to reach the goals of its growth and transformation plan. The country’s broadband market is set to develop with increases in international bandwidth, improvements in national fibre backbone infrastructure and the growing availability of mobile broadband services via 3G and LTE networks. The state-owned Ethio Telecom is the only provider of telecommunications services in Ethiopia. Sectors open for competition include equipment provision and downstream services such as call and data centres, messaging and applications.
Opportunities for Growth
Ethiopia’s internet penetration in 2016 was 15.4% while recent statistics show mobile penetration at 63%, with low penetration rates stemming from underdeveloped telecommunications infrastructure. With a population over 100 million and a median age of under 18 years, Ethiopia offers significant opportunities for ICT development, although there are many challenges including heavy regulation and government control over networks and poor telecommunications infrastructure. The June 2018 announcement by Ethiopia’s government that it would allow private domestic and foreign investment in a number of sectors including telecoms tentatively opens up one of the last biggest telecoms opportunities in Africa. The government took steps to liberalisation this year by issuing an internet service provider licence to a local private company.
This report focuses on the information and communication technology industry in Ethiopia including telephony, internet and broadband, and the infrastructure that supports them. The information technology industry includes hardware manufacturing, assembly and supply, and software development and supply. The report profiles 28 companies including dominant state-owned Ethio Telecom. There are comprehensive profiles on companies such as G2G Clarity IT Solutions, which was awarded an internet service provider licence, mobile and cordless phone assembler Tana Communication and fintech company Kifiya Financial Technologies.