Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance has invited proposals from parties interested in buying a 40 per cent of state-owned mobile operator Ethio Telecom, as the country continued efforts to boost its communications industry.

In a statement, the Ministry explained it was looking for investors capable of adding value in areas including operations, infrastructure management and next-generation technology capabilities.

The government is selling request for proposal (RFP) documents detailing what is being offered, plus terms and conditions at $20,000, but there is no price guide for the minority stake.

Interested parties also have to sign a confidentiality agreement.

The ministry added Ethio Telecom had robust infrastructure and a strong financial performance, which offers a “significant competitive advantage to any investor”.

Sale of the stake in the only operator currently offering services comes as part of a wider strategy to bring competition into the sector and improve accessibility to mobile services.

Earlier this year, Ethiopia issued its first private license to a consortium led by Vodafone Group affiliate Safaricom and is in the process of licensing a second private player, as MTN backed out after its first bid failed.

Meanwhile, Ethio Telecom has reportedly been working to boost coverage and expand its offer.