‘[Ethiopians] will come together to transform the country’
Finding someone who staunchly promotes Ethiopia’s investment potential more than Zemedeneh is a difficult task. For the Ethiopian-American executive, whose client base ranges from Fortune 500 companies throughout the world to Ethiopian Airlines, it is always better for investors to come with a ‘glass half full’ mentality. He says optimism enhances the chance for success.
A regular guest at high-profile gatherings around the world, Zemedeneh has spoken on Wall Street at the New York Stock Exchange, Harvard Business School, the Dubai-Africa Summit, the Saudi-East African Business Conference, the Corporate Council on Africa Summit in Washington and numerous investment promotion summits. He has been interviewed about investment and the state of the Ethiopian economy by acclaimed international news organisations such as the BBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera and the Financial Times. In January 2015, he was also named among the top 15 ‘CEOs of Africa to Watch’ by the London-based African Business Magazine.
Zemedeneh argues that the government’s investment in infrastructure is an impetus for industrialisation. He says these investments don’t crowd out the private sector; rather, they create opportunities for it to flourish. EBR’s Amanyehun Sisay sat down with the numbers-driven investment consultant to discuss current investment trends in Ethiopia and the challenges and prospects of the country’s economic transformation.