Categories: "People" or "Interview" or "Mohammed Hussien Al Amoudi"
Ethiopia: Mohammed Al Amoudi #65 in Forbes Billionaires List
Ethiopian Billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi drops to #65 in Forbes Billionaires List
Son of Saudi father and Ethiopian mother, Mohammed Al Amoudi started investing in Sweden in the 1970s. He made his initial fortune in construction in Saudi Arabia, where he continues to add to his project portfolio with new projects for King Saud University and a new medical city complex for the Ministry of Interior. Al Amoudi is also the biggest individual investor in Ethiopia with a portfolio of interests from hotels and gold mines to agriculture and cement. He is growing rice, corn and other staples on thousands of acres, for the home market as well as for export to Saudi Arabia. His cement operations are making waves in Ethiopia with low-priced offerings. In October, Al Amoudi and DanieliSpA inked a $600 million contract to finance construction of Toussa Steel Factory, the largest steel mill in Ethiopia. He also owns oil refineries in Morocco and Sweden and oil fields off west Africa as well as a 70% stake in the National Oil Company of Ethiopia. In Sweden, his Midroc Europe will become 50% owner of the World Village of Women Sports in Malmo, Sweden, a $350 million sports,commercial and residential complex to begin construction in early 2013.
Q&A with World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia
Q: Before two weeks, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released its Article IV Consultation Staff Report, in which it has provided its view of the Ethiopian macroeconomic environment. The report recommends for the government to facilitate deep structural changes in the economy with a focus on the private sector. Do you share their view?
Guang Z. Chen: Yes. First of all, as you know, during the preparation of our country partnership strategy (CPS) endorsed in September, 2012, we had had a discussion with the government. Of course, the macroeconomic balance was key part of the discussion. There is a concern of macroeconomic imbalances witnessed with the rapid growth of the last seven years. One of the concerns is similar to what is being raised by the IMF; macroeconomic structures. We recognise the fact that the gross domestic product (GDP) targets are very ambitious and rely very much on public sector financing. There is a funding gap in between and the concern is how to fill the gap. The macroeconomic structure would affect how the gap is to be filled, while the growth is sustained. I think, this is where the concern is.
Private sector is one angle of it. Because when you have more private sector investment, it partly helps to bridge the financing gap. Essentially a national GDP accounting constitutes private and public investment. Thus, private investment is one part of it. It certainly is not everything.
There are also monetary policy issues, including how to keep inflation down. These were all discussed with the government. In fact, we also highlighted it in our latest CPS. Our approach in this would be to have ongoing dialogue with the government on how bridge the gap and how to bring in additional resources into the country. The focus would be more on private foreign direct investment. But obviously the management of monetary policy to keep inflation down will also be a focus because we believe that the high inflation is not sustainable and not helpful to attract more resources.
One of the key challenges in this country is that public sector investment is high but savings are very low. Partly, this is impacted by high inflation. So, yes, there is a concern about macroeconomic balance and structural changes. But I also think that the government is making progress.
Q: Could we, then, say that you have seen a green light from the government about these measures that you have recommended?
Yes, we see that the government is taking steps, such as establishing industrial zones, to attract more private investment and foreign direct investment.
Read entire interview from Addis Fortune
Ethiopia: Saudi Billionaire Signs $600 Million Ethiopian Steel-Plant Deal
By William Davison
Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- An Ethiopian company owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi and Italy’s Danieli & C Officine Meccaniche SpA signed a $600 million deal to build the nation’s biggest steel plant, Project Director Shimelis Eshete said.
Derba Group’s Toussa steel factory, which will take three years to build at Gelissa near Kombolcha town, will convert scrap metal imported mainly from Europe and the U.S. to meet growing steel demand in Ethiopia and East Africa, he said.
“Economic growth and the development of infrastructure projects in Ethiopia are the key drivers of the rise in demand for steel products,” he said yesterday in an interview in the capital, Addis Ababa. “This factory will definitely have an impact on all economic sectors.”
Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation and largest coffee producer, is in the middle of a state-led five-year growth plan to build infrastructure including hydropower dams, roads and railways while boosting industrial output.
Al-Amoudi’s Midroc Ethiopia, which owns Derba Group, also has investments in areas such as gold mining, hotels, trucking, fuel stations and agriculture. Ethiopian-born Al-Amoudi is the world’s 61st-richest man with a fortune of $12.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Midroc, development banks and commercial banks are financing the plant, which requires $164 million in additional equipment and startup costs, Shimelis said without providing more details.
Buttrio, Italy-based Danieli, which signed the contract this week, will start construction in the next two months, Shimelis said. The factory should be producing its maximum annual output of 1.35 million metric tons of “international standard” steel products within three years of starting operation, he said. As much as a quarter of production may be exported, he said. Ethiopia now produces 234,000 tons a year
while importing 750,000 tons annually, Shimelis said.
The plant, sited about 254 kilometers (158 miles) north of the capital, will require as much as 260 megawatts of electricity and will eventually be served by a rail link to the nearest port at Djibouti, he said.
Fidel Odinga, son of Kenya’s Prime Minister, to marry his Ethiopian girlfriend
Fidel Castro Odinga, is set to tie the knot in an invites-only event to be held this coming Saturday. The scion to Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is seen as quite popular and mingles freely with members of the public, will be exchanging nuptials with Lwam Getachew Bekele, an Ethiopian to be followed by a reception party at 6pm at a private club in Loresho, in the presence of their parents.
There had been rumours that the socialite was planning to marry his Ethiopian girlfriend for a while now, after a year and half relationship with her.
For Fidel this will be his second marriage commitment after they parted ways his first fiancée Veronica Wanjiru Ng’ang’a, after a rather public ceremony that attracted the who’s-who in society, on claims that they had irreconcilable differences. Some had cynically seen the union at the time as a convenient arrangement since the lady came from the central region and there was an impending election.
Fortunately for the lovebirds, who have been together even at public outings together, this time the buzz is subdued. We wish them the best as they embark on life next journey, together.
South Sudan President's daughter marries Ethiopian
The Ethiopian Billionaire: Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi
Source: African Ventures
Sheikh Al-Amoudi made his fortune in Saudi Arabia, but he remains intensely loyal to the country of his birth- Ethiopia.
Mohammed Al-Amoudi is literally a man of many parts; born in Ethiopia to an Ethiopian mother and a Yemeni father, Al-Amoudi grew up in Saudi Arabia, yet he is the largest individual investor in Sweden.
To date, Al-Amoudi still remains intensely loyal to his Ethiopian roots, and his multi-billion dollar investments in Ethiopia’s agricultural sector illuminate his devotion to the African country of his birth. But his fame and extraordinary fortune is not in Ethiopia, but in Saudi Arabia and Sweden.
When he was 19, Al-Amoudi migrated from Ethiopia to Saudi Arabia with his family. In Saudi Arabia, the young Al-Amoudi built a personal relationship with the Kingdom’s ruling family. As a result, in 1988 he cornered an important contract to build the Saudi government’s $30 billion nationwide underground oil storage complex. That contract cemented his fortune and instantly made him a billionaire.
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