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Digital Inclusion

Safaricom begins hiring in Ethiopia

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Safaricom plans to recruit 1,000 employees for its new Ethiopian business by June next year and is also launching a graduate program to bring young people into the business.

The Kenyan operator made the announcement via a media statement as it moves forward with plans to launch commercial services in Ethiopia in 2022 as part of a consortium.

The consortium of Safaricom, Vodacom and Vodafone known as the Global Partnership for Ethiopia (GPE) was awarded an operating license in Ethiopia in May, becoming the first international operator to be given the chance to operate in the Horn of Africa nation.

The consortium also includes backing from Japan's Sumitomo Corporation and the UK's development finance institution CDC.

With a population of over 110 million, Ethiopia is Africa's second most populous country and up until now was one of the world's last telecom monopolies.

The consortium has promised to invest US$8.5 billion in Ethiopia over the next ten years.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa last week held a media conference at Safaricom Ethiopia's new offices as he led a senior delegation from the GPE for a visit to Addis Ababa.

"The Global Partnership for Ethiopia is proud to be investing in Ethiopia and thanks the Government of Ethiopia and other key partners for their support in the initial preparations for commercial launch. Such partnerships are the building blocks of digital transformation, and I would like to thank all our partners for their support as we work towards enabling our commercial launch and contribution to digital Ethiopia as a purpose-led technology company," Ndegwa said.

Safaricom group CEO Peter Ndegwa and Safaricom Ethiopia MD Anwar Soussa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia September 3, 2021.  (Source: Peter Ndegwa's Twitter account.)
Safaricom group CEO Peter Ndegwa and Safaricom Ethiopia MD Anwar Soussa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia September 3, 2021.
(Source: Peter Ndegwa's Twitter account.)

The newly appointed MD of Safaricom Ethiopia, Anwar Soussa, also provided some updates on the preparations for the commercial launch, including the news that the company was starting a countrywide staff recruitment drive.

"By June next year, we aim to build a team of 1,000 employees driven by innovation and digital solutions. We will also offer all employees comprehensive digital training packages through our #1moreskill training programme a gateway to new skills in the digital economy," he said in a statement.

The telco is also set to recruit 450 graduates over the next three years into a global development program dubbed the "Discover Graduate Management Programme."

Safaricom said the graduates will undergo training across different functions in the business as well as extensive leadership coaching and mentorship programs.

"We believe young people are the key to delivering the digital Ethiopia ambitions and with our global Discover Graduate Management Programme we will create a pool of talent of digital innovators who will grow with the business to achieve this," Soussa added.

The consortium also confirmed it had approved 11 members to its executive committee but didn't name them.

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