France Telecom Takes Over Management of Ethiopia’s Monopoly

France Telecom SA started a two-year contract to manage Ethiopia’s state-owned Ethio Telecom, Communications and Information Technology Minister Debretsion Gebremichael said.

The Paris-based company will, depending on performance, earn a fee of 30 million euros ($40 million) to manage the utility, Debretsion told reporters yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.

Accounting systems will be modernized and new services introduced, Ethio Telecom chief executive officer Jean-Michel Latute said.

Ethio Telecom replaced the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp. on Nov. 29 to help boost services and infrastructure. The East African nation is the second-most expensive country in the world for broadband Internet, according to the United Nation’s International Telecommunications Union.

An underwater fiber-optic cable link via Djibouti will increase capacity and lower broadband Internet costs, Debretsion said.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa via Johannesburg at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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