5 Ethiopian Multi-Millionaires You Should Know

(Mfonobong Nsehe)

A few Ethiopians have built multi-million and billion dollar empires in industries as diverse as agriculture, food, construction, energy and distribution and earned multi-million dollar fortunes to boot.

Their names don’t ring with the African public, and you’ve probably never heard about them before, but they are very successful — and very wealthy. Meet 5 Ethiopian entrepreneurs, who own businesses with annual revenues of $50 million or more.

Photo – Ethiopian Birr notes

Belayneh Kindie

Source: Agricultural Commodities

Belayneh Kindie Import And Export (BKIEA), the eponymous company Belayneh founded and runs, is the largest agricultural commodities trading company in Ethiopia. He founded the company in 2005 to primarily export oil seeds and subsequently expanded into other commodities such as sesame seeds and nuts.

Its commodities trading business has revenues of a little over $60 million in 2016. The company also has a thriving transportation business that boasts a fleet of more than 100 dry & fuel cargo trucks. BKIEA also owns hotels in Ethiopia and a port handling Service Company.


Tewodros Ashenafi

Source: Oil

Ashenafi is the chairman and co-owner of Ambo Mineral Water, Ethiopia’s bestselling naturally-carbonated bottled mineral water, along with beverage giant SABMiller. He is also the founder and CEO of oil exploration firm SouthWest Energy, one the largest oil and gas acreage holders in East Africa.

SouthWest has a leading acreage position in the Jijiga Basin, Ethiopia’s largest proven hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basin, covering an area of approximately 350,000 km2 and in the eastern region of Ethiopia bordering Somaliland.


Buzuayehu T. Bizenu

Source: Diversified

Bizenu is the chairman and controlling shareholder of East African Holding, a leading industrial conglomerate in Ethiopia that operates in a variety of sectors such as manufacturing of Fast Moving Consumer Goods, tea processing, printing and packaging, transport, real estate, cement production and coal mining.


Ato Ketema Kebede

Source: Diversified

Kebede is the founder of KK PLC, an Ethiopian company that manufactures blankets primarily to export across Africa and North America. The company also owns an acrylic yarn dyeing plant, and is also engaged in the import and distribution of heavy-duty machineries and equipment for mining, construction, road making and quarrying. The company is also one of the largest exporters of Ethiopian coffee, cereals and spices.


Akiko Seyoum Ambaye

Source: Construction

Akiko Ambaye, one of Ethiopia’s most prominent female business leaders, is the founder of Orchid Business Group (OBG), an Ethiopian construction company engaged in road construction, the supply of construction materials, rental services of construction machinery and haulage.


*Source Forbes

View Comments (2)

  • GETACHEW REDA (Editor Ethiopian Semay)

    Mr.Birhane!! How about if you inform us “how many millions of poor and how the market is unfriendly and so cruel to the poor in the country where you live in comfort, that “we should know” during the era of your government “Tigrayan Government era”?

    Based on your title “should we really care about the extravagant life of the five Billionaires” or the poor who lives with hunger? If the poor could have the chance to read your website based on your advice regarding these five Billionaires, they could have spit on you with anger.Nothing will make human beings angrier than hunger. Perhaps you are lost (expected) to what is been going why in the last one year or so society is against your repressive, unfair, discriminator and corrupt system. Watching loved ones starve, losing one’s home and long-term unemployment can transform anger into rage. You are talking about Billionaires in a country where starvation is confronting millions of Ethiopians. We need only to remember the recent Amhara/Oromo Spring and closer to home/Tigray/, Occupy Wall Street was the frustrated protesters in the US. No one can guarantee there, in Ethiopia that will not be the case against corrupt Ethiopian Billionaires unless they disclose their source of such accumulation of wealth in short periods (Perhaps 20 years).

    So Mr. Birhane, stop brainwashing the poor ‘that they should know the five Billionaires in Ethiopia’. Who cares? The poor?! They will laugh at you my brother. common, tell us how many million starved Ethiopians are begging for emergency food from the rich country. Can you tell us why the people who burred under the trash, after the fall of the tones of garbage fall on them in Aadis Abeba became the victim? Who was dumping the trash there? the Billionaires /the haves. or the poor? Who is responsible for their death? your government or who?
    Getachew Reda (Editor Ethiopian Semay)

  • I believe there are more richer people than these listed in the country. Most rich people in the country keep a low profile and is difficult to really know who has what. Plus, most of the rich do not keep their cash in the country, instead stash it away in Dubai, USA, and other countries.

    So, the list is not that impressive, too. It doesn't really say the real assets of these people.

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