Frehiwot Tamru

CEO, Ethio Telecom

Frehiwot Tamru

Speaker Bio

Frehiwot Tamru is an influential, result-oriented leader who is known for her consistency and determination. She was appointed as a CEO of Ethio telecom, Africa’s second largest telecom company, by H.E Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in 2018.

After her appointment as a CEO, she brought profound changes and a track record of success within the company throughout the consecutive four years. Under her competent and experienced leadership, Ethio telecom saw a 27.6 M growth in the subscriber base and registered a 21.5 billion Birr growth in revenue within the four years while slashing tariff by 40%- 50%.

Her leadership not only reduced tariffs to ensure affordability but also expanded 4G/LTE & 4G/LTE Advanced services in the capital city and over 136 cities outside of the capital with the aim to address network coverage gaps to ensure accessibility of telecom services.

Through her influence in challenging the status quo and policies, she was able to realize the first telecom-led mobile money service, “telebirr” in the country whose subscriber base reached 20.36 million and which transacted over 21.87 billion Birr just within a year after its launch.

As a continuation of her leadership’s effort in enhancing and modernizing the telecom services, Ethio telecom launched 5G service becoming the 6th country in Sub-Saharan Africa to roll out 5G network.

Apart from the main business, her leadership plays a significant role in discharging its corporate social responsibility. Several impactful works have been done in different areas such as: Education, Health, Agriculture, Gender equality, climate in line with the UN Sustainability Development Goals.

Especially the way her leadership withstood the pressure from COVID-19 was a success overflowing to others. It enabled the continuity of other businesses by availing the required infrastructures and services; as a result, institutes, firms and businesses were able to work from home, schools were able to continue online, e-commerce were flourishing etc. Furthermore, huge resources were committed in the prevention of the pandemic from donating 100 Million Birr for the cause to providing free access to Ministry of Health and Ethiopian Public Health Institute web pages providing COVID-19 related information and facilitating fund raising from within and abroad.

P.O. Box 1047 Addis Ababa Ethiopia Tel. +251 (0) 115 5157 00

Frehiwot is an innate leader who demonstrated her leadership capacity at an early age. She began her career as a programmer and system administrator at the former Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) and went up the ladder at the age of 26 to become the Chief Information Officer of ETC. Again, demonstrating her leadership skills at an early age, she became the deputy Chief Executive Officer of ETC in 2009. She holds an MBA from Open University, UK, a degree in Information System from Addis Ababa University and a diploma in Accounting.

Prior to her appointment as a CEO by the Prime Minister, she was the Board member of Ethio telecom. She has been and still is serving as a board member of different organizations: Sovereign wealth funds, Micro-finances, and Universities.

Among her major achievements as a CEO, she was nominated twice by Avance Media. The first one was among the 100 most influential African Women who are passionate about leading change and challenging the Status-quo and the second, among women CEOs in Africa whose works and accomplishments as the leader continues to inspire the next generation of and across the world in alignment with the Global Goals, SDGs 5 & 10.