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Private companies win radio station award

The Ethiopian Broadcast Authority (EBA) has awarded three private companies broadcasting frequencies this week to operate new FM radio stations in Addis Ababa.

Selam Multimedia Plc, Afri Health Trading Plc and Morese Pictures Plc are now the owners of tenth, eleventh and twelfth commercial radio frequencies in Ethiopia.

The three companies bought the radio frequencies in an open tender that was floated by the authority a while back. The tender was floated for frequencies all over the country, including nine regional states and two of the city administrations.

In this regard, three commercial radio frequencies in Addis Ababa were awarded to Selam, Afri Health and Morese.

Four companies competed for frequencies floated for Addis Ababa. However, only three of them managed to pass through all the stages. The radio frequencies floated for the rest of the nine regional states and Dire Dawa City Administration could not manage to attract any bidders.

All the bidders were evaluated in every stage of the bid, said Gebregiorgis Abrha, communication head of EBA.

The first stages involved checking all the necessary documents submitted by the bidders. In addition to the financial requirement, bidders are expected to submit a cashier payment order (CPO) that amounts to four million birr or two million birr (if the company already has a studio).

In this regard, Selam gave a four million birr offer.

“Unlike previous bid processes, this one was more relaxed,” Berhane Nigusse, CEO of Selam and host of Ethiopikalink told The Reporter. In addition, the Authority has accepted bank guarantees from bidders which say they have access to bank loans.

Selam is established by Axum Pictures, which currently produces Ethiopikalink radio program and Adika Tour and Travel Agency.

Selam is now under the process of selecting studio materials and develop content for the upcoming radio station.

“Our station will focus on a range of issue from entertainment to social, politics, and art,” said Berhane.  He also expressed concern with regard to access to a letter of credit (LC) in relation to importing equipment for the up and coming studio.

The second and the third winning companies are Morese and Afri Health. They are affiliates of Afri Health Television Station and JTV. The later will basically focus on health and health related issues.

Following the award, the aforementioned companies are expected to build their own studios and finalize other preparation before they get access to the frequencies.

Once they finalize all the process, we will allocate the specific frequency and grant them broadcasting license, said Gebregiorgis.

Following the license, the companies are expected to start broadcasting in one year period.

There are currently more than 65 radio stations that conduct broadcasting services in the country.