Ethiopian-born Saudi billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi is among dozens of investors who have had their land leases in Addis Ababa revoked by the Ethiopian government.
According to a report by Voice of America, more than 410 hectares of land awarded to investors have been returned to the Addis Ababa Land Bank and Transfer office because the investors had failed to honor their promises of developing the land they were awarded to create jobs for the city’s teeming youth population.
The Transfer office reclaimed 55 hectares of land from MIDROC Ethiopia, a private company owned by al-Amoudi. According to reports, MIDROC Ethiopia leased about 33,000 square feet of land in the heart of Addis Ababa in 2005, promising to build a city center there, but the company has failed to fulfill its promise.
“The company just put a fence around that massive [tract], evicting out locals. Instead of building the city, they gave the city a bad image, making it a place of waste collections,” Tesfaye Tilahun, head of the Addis Ababa Land Bank and Transfer Office, told VOA last week.
Mohammed Al Amoudi, son of a Saudi father and an Ethiopian mother, is the founder of MIDROC Ethiopia, one of the country’s largest privately owned companies. MIDRCO Ethiopia has interests in gold mining, steel manufacturing, oil distribution and cement production.
In 2017, Al- Amoudi was the second richest black man in the world with a fortune Forbes estimated at $8.1 billion.