The latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2013) ranked the quality of overall infrastructure of Ethiopia 112nd out of 148 countries. Among the categories analysed by this survey, mobile telephone subscriptions and fixed telephone lines per 100 populations are particularly low-ranked 147th and 130th respectively. Ethiopia’s telecommunication sector is regarded as an untapped market and has one of the lowest rates of internet and mobile telephone penetration in the world. Mobile phone penetration is about 25 per cent in Ethiopia, whereas its average in Africa is 70 per cent (The Economist 2013). Access to the internet is also low in Ethiopia with 2.5 per cent, compared with 40 per cent in Kenya. The capacity to provide services is deficient because the government monopolises the sector, constraining competition. However, the liberalisation of the telecommunication sector is one of the key requirements for Ethiopia’s accession to the WTO. The strong state-led investment policy also applies to the banking and electricity sector. Given the lack of transparency in the procurement system and a high demand from investors, the Ethiopian government has established a public procurement and property administration agency with its own judicial branch.

Source: WEF, 2013, Global Competitiveness Report
The Economist , 2013, Telecoms in Ethiopia
Transparency International, 2012, Corruption Perceptions Index

Indicator Value Rank/148
Quality of overall infrastructure How would you assess general infrastructure (e.g., transport, telephony, and energy) in your country? [1 = extremely underdeveloped—among the worst in the world; 7 = extensive and efficient—among the best in the world] | 2012–13 weighted average. 2.84 116
Quality of roads How would you assess roads in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 4.07 63
Quality of railroad infrastructure How would you assess the railroad system in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 1.49 102
Quality of port infrastructure How would you assess port facilities in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = well-developed and efficient by international standards). For landlocked countries, this measures the ease of access to port facilities and inland waterways | 2010, 2011. 3.10 112
Quality of air transport infrastructure How would you assess passenger air transport infrastructure in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 5.35 40
Individuals using Internet (%) Internet users are people with access to the worldwide network. 22.38 137
Mobile telephone subscriptions/100 pop According to the World Bank, mobile cellular telephone subscriptions are subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service using cellular technology, which provides access to switched telephone technology. Postpaid and prepaid subscriptions are included. This can also include analogue and digital cellular systems but should not include non-cellular systems. Subscribers to fixed wireless, public mobile data services, or radio paging services are not included. 1.48 135
Fixed broadband Internet subscriptions/100 pop: The International Telecommunication Union considers broadband to be any dedicated connection to the Internet of 256 kilobits per second or faster, in both directions. Broadband subscribers refers to the sum of DSL, cable modem and other broadband (for example, fiber optic, fixed wireless, apartment LANs, satellite connections) subscribers. 0.01 134