The Investment Group
MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group, owned by Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi , started operation in 1996. It is the leading private investment Group engaged in multifaceted investment undertakings that have proved to make significant contributions to the development of the country’s economy.
MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group todate has about 70 companies operating in agriculture & agro-industry, construction, hotel & tourism, manufacturing, mining, oil & gas distribution, real estate development, transport (including air transport), trade & commerce, healthcare, and education & training.
Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi’s Investment in Ethiopia
Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi appeared in the economic scene of his motherland, Ethiopia, at a time when the country was in an exuberant need of support. He did not wait for the creation of an “enabling environment” which all private foreign investors expect to prevail in any country before moving in. He had to respond to the call of his Motherland – Ethiopia as immediately as the circumstances then demanded.
He decided to contribute to the revitalization and development effort through investing in various sectors of the country’s economy. His investments, which have significant contributions to the foreign direct investments (FDI) in Ethiopia, have started to bear fruits. All his investment decision are reflections of his resolute commitment to development of the economy and the well being of Ethiopia and its people.
At this point it will only be proper and timely to quote the remarks he made a few years ago:
“Ethiopia means so much to me that even my friends wonder about my investment decisions in the country. When I invest in Ethiopia, my decisions to invest are based on what I feel in my heart for my motherland. All my other investment decisions in the rest of the world are based on calculated risks and benefits.
….Ethiopia is our soul and the essence of our existence. We should not expect others to transform our motherland into a developed and a prosperous country. It is our national duty and solemn responsibility, to fully commit ourselves to develop Ethiopia and free our countrymen from the shackles of abject poverty and under-development.”
Cognizant of the increasing volume of his investment in Ethiopia since 1991, Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi decided to establish MIDROC Ethiopia Plc, in 1996, under the motto of "Committed to Development" - a flagship of his dedication and continued commitment. In order to realize this commitment, the following set of strategic objectives were designed.
The strategic direction of MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group’s engagement in the country’s development include, among others, the following:-
- to invest in the agricultural and agro-industrial sector with emphasis to further develop the sectors and enhance their efficiency and export earning capacities,
- to invest in the exploration, development and marketing of the country's mining resources,
- to invest in, develop and expand the manufacturing and service industries that enhance the economic competitiveness of Ethiopia and add value to local based resources,
- to undertake projects and invest in the development of the basic infrastructure in Ethiopia, like in the health services, education & training, transport, etc..
- to invest in the development of the tourism industry in Ethiopia capitalizing on the tourism potentials in the sub-region,
- to invest and actively participate in the development and the rational utilization of the country’s natural resources,
- to construct, buy, lease, sell and administer real estates including apartments, multi-pupose buildings and structures.
These strategic objectives are implemented through companies that constitute the MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group. The companies retain and develop their own identities and business ideas but can work, cooperate and support each other.
The significant employment opportunity created in tens of thousands by the MIDROC Ethiopia Group Companies is among the notable derivatives of Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi's investment endeavor.
Synopsis of MIDROC Ethiopia’s Investment by Sector
Ethiopia has over 66 million hectares of arable land and an annual overflow of over 110 billion cubic meters of water from which irrigated agriculture, fishery and hydropower can be reasonably and sustainably tapped. The country is also endowed with immense mining and livestock resources. Ethiopia is rich not only in natural resources but also in historical heritages, cultural and traditional priceless treasures. The extreme contrasts of Ethiopia’s endowment in the ecosystem, climate, and endemic wildlife, birds as well as unique and contrasting geological but captivating landscapes are some of the untold features of the country. These natural and rich archeological heritages are also potential resources for the sustainable growth of the tourism industry in the country. These resources, however, have not been put to good use to bring about desired development and growth mainly because of under investment in the country. Having realized these shortfalls, MIDROC Ethiopia’s investment were made in the following sectors of the economy since 1990.
i. Investment in Hotel & Tourism Sector
The construction of the multi-million birr, Five-Star Hotel, the Sheraton Addis, was an eye opener achievement in the field of architectural and engineering talent and a breakthrough in the opening up of the country’s potential for the tourism industry.
The decision to go ahead for the construction of the Sheraton Addis and the establishment of Travel and Touring Services by MIDROC Ethiopia, demonstrated the emphasis that Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi has put on fulfilling the prerequisites for the development of tourism in Ethiopia.
The establishment of the Sheraton Addis was a clear manifestation of Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi's considered investment commitment to development and to the provision of the much needed high level services that was lacking in the country.
His deep-rooted wishes and determination for continued development of the country has been explicitly expressed in his own words in March 1998, at the inaugural ceremony of the Sheraton Addis... “I would love to see, if possible, new industries being built monthly by my Investment Group.”
The idea of introducing the Five-Star Hotel, Sheraton Addis, was also a breakthrough in the area of high level conference and tourism. It has enhanced Addis Ababa’s status as Africa’s political capital, which is a venue for African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and many more other multi-lateral agencies. This vital point was conveyed to Heads of State and prominent international businessmen who attended the International Conference: The Addis Forum - Trade and Investment in Africa, under the theme “Attracting Global Capital to Africa” which aimed at drawing attention to the economic potentials and investment opportunities in Africa. The Addis Forum, that discussed several topics on promoting and creating new partnership, was held at the Sheraton Addis during March 8-9, 1998. Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi was the major sponsor of the Forum. This was an opportune moment for Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi to promote Ethiopia for global investment.
MIDROC Ethiopia’s investment in the hotel and tourism sector in Ethiopia also include the acquisition and development of hotels and resort facilities at Debrezeit and Arbaminch towns in the South and the hotel complex under construction on Lake Tana, and recently the Tana Ghion Hotel in Bahir Dar.
ii. Investment in Agriculture and Agro-Industry
Determined to contribute to the agricultural development efforts of the country, Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi invested in agriculture that consists of large scale plantations, processing and marketing of high value crops, especially conservation based coffee, tea, flowers and cereal crops. Due emphasis is also given to the livestock sector.
Ethio Agri-CEFT Plc. is one of MIDROC Ethiopia Group Companies that exports best quality of Ethiopian highland coffee and tea. Its Gemadro Coffee, had been honored with a special Award by Starbucks. The export of flowers and other horticultural crops, aimed at contributing to the country's export to generate foreign exchange is picking up.
ELFORA Agro-Industries Plc, a member of the MIDROC Technology Group Companies, has gained reputation in being among the country’s leading exporters of steers and processed and fresh chilled meat, securing high demand and large markets in the Middle East.
In addition to exporting livestock, the manufacturing of leather products is also gaining momentum. Upon the reorganization of the three leather & leather processing and leather goods factories, acquired through a public tender from the Privatization Authority, under the Ethio Leather Industry Plc. (ELICO), a robust business wing in the manufacturing of leather garments and gloving leather for the international market was launched.
A dairy products industry has also been acquired recently, through a public tender from the Privatization Authority.
iii. Investment in the Construction Sector
The establishment of MIDROC Construction Plc., by Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi, was also a breakthrough in the laying of the foundations for industrial development and the construction of complex buildings and road systems, and that of the creation of employment opportunities for thousands of Ethiopians, apart from its contribution in the transfer of new technology in this highly competitive and growing sector.
MIDROC Construction Plc., one of the leading large private companies, is well equipped with the state-of-the-art machinery and equipment and secures specialized services from MIDROC Foundation Specialist Plc and MIDROC Energy House Electro Mechanical Service Plc, to enhance synergy and services quality to remain competitive in the market.
MIDROC Construction Plc. has successfully completed a number of major construction works (both in building and road sectors) in the various parts of the country, most of which are massive and complex structures. The impressive and functional edifice of the African Union Conference Center, the high rise Nani complex, the Federal Police Headquarters and the Bole International Airport Cargo Terminal are among the many construction works it has successfully undertaken.
MIDROC Foundation Specialist Plc is involved in specialized foundation construction works that enhance and complement the need for complex high-rise buildings, dam foundations, and heavy bridge construction and facilitate and implement city and road constructions. The Company is a pioneer in introducing foundation technology, and has carried out numerous foundations and pile works in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and the Sudan.
Realizing the acute problem of the shortage of cement caused due to the booming construction activities in the country, both in residential buildings, roads and other structures, Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi has embarked on the establishment of a multi-billion Birr worth Cement Factory, the Derba MIDROC Cement Plant Project. The Project would produce 2.2 - 2.8 million tons of cement annually when completed. Two other Mini Cement Plant Projects with an annual capacity of 134,000 tons each at Derba and Dejen sites are coming on stream.
iv Investment in Mining, Oil and Gas Distribution
Two other members of MIDROC Ethiopia Group Companies, MIDROC Gold SC (a member of MIDROC Technology Group Companies) and National Mining Corporation Plc, engaged in the exploration and development of minerals, processing and manufacturing of high quality gold, precious and dimension stones have made breakthroughs in the markets of the Middle East, Far East, Europe and North America. Prospective exploration work for more mining is also underway. It has now become an established fact that the export of high quality gold and marble varieties of the Group are in high demand and are remarked first-class products in the international markets.
The establishment of National Oil Company of Ethiopia (NOC) in April 2004, is also a multi-million Birr indigenous company engaged in the downstream petroleum business of Ethiopia.
v. Investment in the Manufacturing Sector
The manufacturing sector is another major economic sector that has been accorded with the necessary attention by the investor, as a consequence of which quite a substantial amount of investment outlay has been made to operate.
Three companies organized under the auspices of the MIDROC Ethiopia Technology Group, namely, the Kombolcha Steel Products Industry (KOSPI), Modern Building Industries (MBI) and Wanza Furnishings, are providing critical support to the growing real estate development and housing construction sectors. Galvanized corrugated and ribbed steel sheets and other engineered steel products, plastic tiles, cultured marble products, water and oil based paints, and wooden doors & windows and high quality ceiling and flooring materials & household furniture; hydrafoam blocks and impregnated wood, etc. are among those vital construction materials produced by these plants.
The Bottling Company of Pepsi Cola Soft Drinks (Moha Soft Drinks SC) is another highly competitive soft drinks and table mineral water bottling enterprise in the Group that has the biggest production capacity in the country. New investment is still being made to expand its capacity even more and to improve distribution & availablility of products. The company has six plants operating at market centers, strategically located all over the country.
Another manufacturing Company established in the pulp and paper sector is MAMCO Paper Products Enterprise, that is providing the market with high quality paper products.
Plastic based products (crates, pp bags and hessian cloth, etc.) are also produced at two other factories which are organized under the MIDROC Ethiopia Technology Group. A multi million Birr Project (Unlimited Packaging) that manufactures paper packaging to support the export business of the country is under commissioning. A soap and detergent plant in Addis Ababa, that caters for the big local market has also been established. Another plant of the MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group is the one engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of industrial gases and plastic products for household and industrial uses.
Kebire Enterprise is yet another major company that is engaged in the production and marketing of cotton yarns, knitwear and cotton based outfits, in Mekelle area, mainly for export. The company also operates a leather shoes manufacturing plant in Addis Ababa.
Daylight Technologies is another industrial venture engaged in the assembly and marketing of high quality desk and laptop computers; and also has the capacity and capabilities to manufacture all types of glass products including bottles.
vi. Investment in Health Care Services
SalaM Health Care Plc and Pharmacure Plc are amongst the companies ear-marked to support the country’s health-care development programs. SalaM Health Care is projected to provide a first-class referral general hospital services incorporating a high standard training center for health professionals.
Pharmacure Plc is a multimillion dollar project destined to manufacture (in collaboration with a globally recognized company Glaxo-SmithKline) and market high quality pharmaceutical and health care products. The first phase of this pharmaceutical complex, the manufacturing of intravenous fluids, has already entered production.
vii. Investment in Trade and Commercial Services
Companies in this category are mainly affiliates to MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group owned by close relatives & friends of Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi. They are involved in a myriad of businesses including imports, exports, distribution and retail sales of world-class automotive engineering, technical and high-tech solution services, cargo and road transport operations, forwarding, clearing and warehousing businesses.
Equatorial Business Group, National Motors Corporation, East-West Ethio Transport, Rainbow Travel & Tours, Trans Nation Airways, Cabey and Mugad Travel are the Companies involved in trade and commercial activities.
viii. Investment in Human Resources Development
Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi is a strong believer in a continued development of human resources and capacity building efforts to cope up with the competition in the globalized market.
The following was what Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi once said on the importance of Education and Training:
“All sections of society of developing nations should give the utmost attention and top priority to education and training if they aspire to make a meaningful change in the economic and social condition of their people.”
Consistent with the MIDROC Ethiopia’s policy, and maintaining its business progress through a professional and competent manner, a number of important short and medium term management training programs, workshops and seminars are being conducted regularly to supplement the requirement of trained personnel in various capacities in the Group Companies.
An investment project on Education, MIDROC Education and Training Institute (METI) Project, whose full-fledged implementation has started in 2008, is a case in point.
Moreover, the recent acquisition of Unity University organized under the MIDROC Ethiopia Technology Group Companies enhances the efforts of the Investment Group in higher education.
ix. Investment in Research and Development
Sustainable engagement in business and entrepreneurial capability lies on the emphasis one puts forward on research and development.
To that effect, Ethio Agri-CEFT Plc, one of the members of the MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group, has been entrusted with the pursuing of Research and Development. The research on Endod, which some 40 years ago created excitement among Ethiopians, after Dr. Aklilu Lemma found its molluscicidal property has been a subject of numerous scientific studies and various international workshops. Ethio Agri-CEFT Plc is currently running large scale commercial farms for the cultivation of Endod.
Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi is doing all his best to follow closely and enrich the research tradition. Apart from using Endod in the control of leeches, coordinated efforts are being exerted to advance its industrial application, in the form of powder and bar soap.
The Endod Research Project has so far made the Regional States of Amhara, Oromia and the Southern Nations and Nationalities and Peoples States, beneficiaries of the project.
The number of beneficiaries would grow in all Regions where the agro-ecological conditions demand. The research now has offered a simple application of endod for the complex problems of Ethiopian farmers. It is also planned to export the product to markets in Europe and America.
Another area of interest has been in the development and production of medicinal and essential oil bearing plants.