14 September, 2013

Mohammed Al Amoudi and the Hadhrami Influence in Ethiopia

Like in all of the Horn of Africa, the Hadharem from Hadhramout have had a very long and extensive relations with the people of Ethiopia - mainly religious and trade relations - dating back to thousands of years ago. Today, there are thousands of descendants of Hadhramis in Ethiopia. Most of these are descendants of those who had migrated in the late 19th Century; and descendants of the tens of thousands of people from Hadhramaut, who - due to hardship back home early and in the mid 20th Century, had to flee. They found shelter and means of livelihood in this very notable African country: Ethiopia.

Today there are thousands of descendants of these Hadharem in Ethiopia; most notable of these is: Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi. Like in Tanzania where the richest man is Hadhrami, Al Amoudi is Ethiopia's wealthiest man. He is also one of the wealthiest Arabs and one of the richest man in the world. Al Amoudi, like many of the Hadhrami descendants, presently, from South East Asia, East Africa, India and the Horn of Africa - who are children of Hadhrami fathers and indigenous, native mothers - was born in Ethiopia to a Hadhrami father and an Ethiopian mother. Undoubtedly, Al Amoudi is one of the most influential sons of Hadhramout - not only in Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia, but internationally.
Mohammed Al-Amoudi is literally a man of many parts; born in Ethiopia to an Ethiopian mother and a Yemeni father, Al-Amoudi grew up in Saudi Arabia, yet he is the largest individual investor in Sweden.

To date, Al-Amoudi still remains intensely loyal to his Ethiopian roots, and his multi-billion dollar investments in Ethiopia’s agricultural sector illuminate his devotion to the African country of his birth. But his fame and extraordinary fortune is not in Ethiopia, but in Saudi Arabia and Sweden.

When he was 19, Al-Amoudi migrated from Ethiopia to Saudi Arabia with his family. In Saudi Arabia, the young Al-Amoudi built a personal relationship with the Kingdom’s ruling family. As a result, in 1988 he cornered an important contract to build the Saudi government’s $30 billion nationwide underground oil storage complex. That contract cemented his fortune and instantly made him a billionaire.

Al-Amoudi eventually returned back home to Ethiopia in the mid-1980s and founded Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Companies (MIDROC), a diversified holding company which he used to gobble up gold mines from the government at a fraction of their real market value. Today, MIDROC Gold is Ethiopia’s exclusive gold exporter. One of its mines, called Legedenbi, has annually produces close to 5,000Kg of gold and silver. Ventures
Today, the Hadhramis in Ethiopia are very settled and consider Ethiopia their first home; most have never returned to Hadhramaut. Many have thrived. They have prospered as traders and as merchants. Many are religious and political leaders. And by marriage to indigenous Ethiopians they have adapted and assimilated very well; and have increased in numbers. 

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