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Mohammed Al Amoudi: he wants to send an Ethiopian in the space!

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He is fascinated by the space, and he dreams of sending an Ethiopian in the space! Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi (in Arabic: محمد حسين العمودي) was born in 1946 in Dessie, Ethiopia; he almost achieved all that he undertook until now. He then gave way to dream, not so senseless but well calculated and well planned…

Mohammed Al Amoudi is the richest man in Ethiopia and the famous magazine Forbes considered that he is at the head of the 43rd biggest fortune of the world. His heritage is estimated at 13, 5 billion dollars (10, 5 billion euros).

He owes his fortune to building and the real estate business before diversifying himself in construction projects of refineries (in Sweden and in Morocco, in particular).

There is a joke about him, which he finds funny: « In Ethiopia, we do not make privatizations; But only al-amoudisations! »

Since the fall of the communist regime in 1991 and the getting on power of the « Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), he was said to have invested more than 2 billion dollars in the country.

Mohammed Al Amoudi is really present in all domains! He successfully invested in hotel business (Sheraton of Addis Ababa), gold mines, real estate, industry (tire factories, textile), and in the biggest cement works of the country as well as steelworks at 600 million dollars.

His slogan: invest but never talk about him nor his business. He almost never grants interviews and his companies, unquoted, have the reputation to be also discreet on their profits.

It was at the age of 19 years that he emigrated to Saudi Arabia. He became a major investor in the refining in Sweden and in Morocco and held participations in oil blocks in Ivory Coast, in Nigeria, in Congo and in Angola.

He is said to have employed about 40 000 people worldwide. It is one of the rare figures that he made public…

He is seriously interested in farming sector. Zemedeneh Negatu of the cabinet Ernst and Young Ethiopia, who recommends some of his companies, indicated: « The sheik plans to invest 2, 5 billion dollars in this only sector », assured Zemedeneh Negatu. His target is to export for 1 billion dollars of farm products a year by six or seven years, mainly to the markets of the Middle East, to which he has easily access. But he wants to keep 40 % of the production for the local market. »

Today, he actively supports the project of his native country, Ethiopia which launches into a program of space exploration, with the first international standard monitoring center in east Africa, intended to promote astronomical research.

He was the one who financed the monitoring center which will have cost 3, 4 million dollars (2, 5 million euros) and which is managed by the Ethiopian Company of space sciences.

It is situated at 3.200 meters over the sea level, in the luxuriant mountains Entoto near the capital town Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian Company of space sciences was nicknamed « The Club of crazy people ».

The results are there: it launched its first satellite for meteorological studies and telecommunication development purposes.

The Ethiopian Company of space sciences is planning to open the second monitoring center at Lalibela, one of the oldest Christian sites of Africa. The place, classified in the UNESCO world heritage, is situated at 4.200 meters over the sea level.

Mohammed Al Amoudi also thinks of developing « astronomical tourism ».

Then soon, an Ethiopian in the space? « With a little luck, we shall reach that goal ».

Having reached the moon, new target, the March…

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