Ethiopia’s Minister of Communications and Technology Debretsion Gebremichael announced that his country would be signing a two-year agreement with China’s Huawei and ZTE Corporation within “the coming weeks.”
China’s second-largest mobile phone maker ZTE said last May that it was bidding, along with partner Huawei, for the $1.3 billion Ethiopia government telecommunications contract, which the minister said it has been awarded.
The minister told Bloomber news agency in an interview that “both companies will be engaged,” adding that “both will have a share in the market.”
It is not the first time that the partially-Chinese government owned ZTE is working with Ethiopia. For the past six years, the company has dealt with Ethiopia’s state-run Ethio Telecom provider on Internet services in the country.
The ministry added, when contacted by IT News Africa/Bikyamasr.com that they believe the new agreement will continue to spur growth in the local market and boost the country’s technological capacity, both for Internet service and telecom.
“We are not investing, we are inviting companies to come with their finance,” the minister added in the interview. “That is why we are waiting for the negotiation.”
But both ZTE and Huawei confirmed on Friday that they are expecting the agreement to be finalized by the end of the month in order to begin work on the project sometime in the next year.