The telecommunications company Vodacom Group officially opened its representative office in Addis Ababa on December 3, 2013. The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and dignitaries including the British ambassador to Ethiopia.
The chief operating officer (COO) of Vodacom International Limited, Romeo Kumalo, said during the launch, "Ethiopia is a very important market to us. We obtained our investment license and commercial registration several months ago, and we hope to develop a long-term relationship with the Ethiopian people and learn more about this exciting market."
The COO added, "We are starting with a small staff to engage with our international customers, such as Kenya Airways and DHL, and at the same time looking closely at the Ethiopian telecom market, as we hope to join the sector."
"But to give a telecom service it might take too long, but we will wait to see what will happen," he said. "But until then we will work closely with Ethiopian people and engage in different social affairs, such as establishing partnerships with different NGOs."
In this regard, Vodacom has signed a partnership agreement with the Federal Ministry of Health and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). They aim to establish low cost neo--natal intensive care units in Shashemene Hospital of the Oromia region and Sodo Hospital in the Southern Nation's Nationalities and Peoples Region, with the view to save the lives of pre-term and at-risk newborn babies.
The advisor for the Ministry of Health, Dr Taye Tolera, said that the partnership will be important to save the lives of many babies, and welcomed the deal.