Safaricom Ethiopia signs dark-fibre agreement ahead of April launch

06 April 2022

Safaricom Ethiopia, the new entrant to the east African nation, has signed a dark fibre agreement with the nation’s electricity grid company.

Under the terms of the deal, the Kenya-headquartered operator will use a network of optical ground wire (OPGW) cables already installed along the high voltage transmission lines owned by state-controlled Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP).

“Such infrastructure sharing agreements will enable us to fulfil our commitment to transform Ethiopian lives for a digital future and contributes to efforts being made to the phased operation launch,” said Anwar Soussa, chief executive officer (CEO), Safaricom Ethiopia. “This first-of-its-kind collaboration will see not only power but telecommunications reach Ethiopians in all corners of the country. The agreement we sign today to share our OPGW infrastructure will enable Ethiopian Electric Power to utilize its resources and increase its revenue, while enabling Safaricom Ethiopia to provide quality and competitive telecommunication services.”

EEP said it signed the deal with Safaricom yesterday and that it will last five years. Safaricom Ethiopia is controlled by Safaricom Kenya, with a 55.7% stake. Other shareholders are Japan’s Sumitomo with 27.2%, the UK government’s CDC Group with 10.9% and Vodacom of South Africa with 6.2%.

The first phase of the agreement includes Safaricom Ethiopia leasing more than 4,000km of OPGW, with the option to agree further phases.