Addis Alemayehou Chairman, Kazana Group
Born in Addis Ababa, Addis Alemayehou started education at St. Joseph School and would set off for Kenya at the early age of eight. After 10 years in the neighborly nation, the US and Canada became the destination for his tertiary education. Fourteen years later, Addis returned home in 2001 to assess starting a business. He has never looked back since nor has he ever considered living abroad again.
Addis’s first venture was Afro FM—the first English FM radio station in Ethiopia, now fully acquired by Walta Media and Communication Corporate, a state and party affiliated media operator. Thereafter, the marketing and advertising company 251 Communications was launched and is credited to have contributed to the currently flourishing advertisement industry while serving large clients like Emirates Airlines, VISA, Coca-Cola, Heineken, and the World Bank.
Addis recently founded Kazana Group as a holding company that would also invest in startups. A Founding Member of Kana TV, a Board Member of Dangote Ethiopia, and a Senior Advisor to the Albright Stonebridge Group are other features of his curriculum vitae. He has also been highly engaged in helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) export their products to the United States under the American Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). In this interview, Addis sat down with EBR’s Addisu Deresse to converse on family, entrepreneur matters, and much more in between.