Talk about entrepreneurship in Ethiopia. You might name only a few people who succeeded. One of these few is Ermias Amlega. Ermias Amlega is an Ethiopian economist and entrepreneur. He is a visionary who tried his hardest to bring advanced innovations to Ethiopia’s motherland. His vision was to use his knowledge/ experience to launch groundbreaking businesses that could impact the economy.
What makes him well known?
It’s challenging to convey a difference in an underdeveloped country with a strong cultural and social tie. The extreme conservatism had tried to block his way as an entrepreneur. Nonetheless, this didn’t stopover Ermias Amlega.
He arose by working as an investment banker for 12 years in the United States. Then he returned to Ethiopia in 1996. After his return to Ethiopia, he opened different manufacturing companies.
- Highland spring water,
- Zemen bank,
- Access real estate,
- Access capital,
- Advisor to the government about the economic issues of the country even represents Africa on international economic forums.
Ermias Amelga Childhood
The 66-Year-old man Ermias Amlega was born in 1955. His father was a traveler who moved to different countries for his work. This had influenced Ermias’s life since he had to change schools occasionally. This is how mobile his family was. After Ermias was born, his parents had to transfer to Egypt and start a life. They stayed in Egypt for four years and returned to Ethiopia. Amlega began school in Ethiopia right away. When he reached the second grade, his parents moved to Nairobi. Luckily, he learned British English in Nairobi. Then he continued and completed his secondary education at International Community School in Nairobi.
Afterward, Ermias Amlega moved to the United States in 1976, where he stayed for 22 years. He undertook different research and studies for eight years. He pursued his MBA degree in finance from Boston University and MA degree in International Economics and Political Science from Amherst College in 1980.
What is a memorable experience in his younger age?
Since Ermias was relocated to Egypt right after he was born, his mother tongue turned out Arabic. This only makes him a unique Ethiopian native. Moreover, before moving to America, Ermias had to go to Bedeno, Harar, to serve in the Derg Regime’s version of Peace Corps. During his stay in Bedeno, he reminisces about one Arab who used to be the only one owning a Truck in Bedeno town. He drove through plain fields every week to pass on essential utilities for the resident.
Accomplishments and Achievements
Ermias Amlega’s preparation unintentionally had started from birth. His diplomatic father, who moved around, facilitated the start of his success journey. He resided in different places and had advanced his education in foreign countries. Moreover, He could speak additional languages such as Arabic, British English, Amharic, and Afan Oromo. Furthermore, even though he had failed many times through his expedition and many charges were laid against him, he stood still to his beliefs and had been a significant influence on many entrepreneurs.
Ermias had suffered a lot in his attempt to show his people his new methods and thoughts. It’s common to face challenges when one is altered from all. Consequently, Federal investigators have arrested Ermias Amlega in connection with an ongoing corruption probe on Metals and Engineering Corporation [MetEC]. He was also suspected of transferring the former Imperial Hotel to MetEC for 72 million Birr, without a proper procurement. Furthermore, Ermias was accused of causing severe financial damage to the government. Later he was also in charge of the customers of access Real Estate. They accused him of breaking his promise to deliver their new houses on time after receiving payment.
Federal prosecutors who have filed corruption charges have blocked his release from prison and requested a payment of settlement amounting to 21 million birr. On Jury, he told the presiding judges that Access Real Estate S.c had bought the hotel for 60 million birr and explained that his share of the hotel was a mere 5% of what was owed by more than 6000 shareholders. He also insisted he had cooperated with the police to provide all the necessary information regarding the transaction. However, he remained in prison for two years. On February 25/2020, the government announced the criminal charges against him were discontinued. This was launched by the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. This had led to the release of Ermias Amlega.
His biography was written in the book called ‘የማይሰበረው ኤርሚያስ አመልጋ’። Click here to read the book review.
Though there is no specific data on his net worth, Ermias Amlega is one of the top 15 billionaires in Ethiopia.
Ermias gave up his successful life in the US to change his country, where he went on to open a myriad of companies, including Highland spring’s mineral water, Zemen Bank, Access Real Estate, and some of his high-scored initiatives.
One of the most successful activities in his carrier as a business innovator was his business venture with the widely known billionaire Alibaba. The e-commerce company, which is nearing implementation, is birthed from the partnership between Alibaba, china’s e-commerce giant, and Ermias Amlega. The e-commerce company was stated to join Ethiopia’s economy six months after the agreement. The new e-commerce platform, on which all items in Ethiopian shops will have a digital presence, is expected to place Ethiopia on a new digital economic trajectory, with end-to-end online ordering, e-payment, and delivery systems. This was an excellent turnout for the growth of the Ethiopian economy.
Ermias Amlega’s life struggle mainly affects Entrepreneurs who are citizens and have a heartily desire to bring radical change to their country. Especially for young entrepreneurs, it helps to be aware of the business climate in Ethiopia. His dedication and persistence against all the odds would be an excellent motivation for the new generation of Ethiopians.