The second most populous country in Africa and one of the poorest in the world, Ethiopia, with a population of 100 million, has 2,700 millionaires. “Growth hungry” who no longer want to “beg the West for help.”
Tadiwos Belete doesn’t do this on purpose. But, often, he turns away those who wish to meet him. “Sorry my dear,” he blurted out over the phone several times. One day, the extremely wealthy Ethiopian entrepreneur had to go to Dubai, where he does business. Another time, he was about to take a plane to Djibouti, where he was building a gigantic resort for well-off Africans. “I am lucky: I left here as a refugee and I came back in the shoes of an investor”, he says when he finally receives in his office in Addis Ababa where a huge portrait of him stands. .
Its history is worthy of the best success stories. At 16, Tadiwos Belete was a domestic servant in Sudan, where he had gone into exile to escape the military dictatorship of Ethiopian Colonel Mengistu Hailé Mariam. At 30, he took care of the customers of his Boston hair salon. Today, he is one of the most respected businessmen in the country and gives the pulse of the new Ethiopia, a country where it is now possible to make a fortune. According to a study by South African firm New World Wealth, the country has 2,700 millionaires in dollars out of 100 million inhabitants. This figure more than doubled between 2007 and 2013.
Tadiwos Belete is now the owner of luxury hotels, restaurants and Boston Spa, “one of the largest spas in Africa”, where more than ten thousand clients have their hair done, massaged or exfoliated. each month.
The Horn of Africa country, the continent’s second largest demographic power after Nigeria, has maintained robust growth of around 10% per year over the past decade, officials said. Despite a slowdown in 2016 due to drought and political instability, the government wants to stay the course. “We are hungry for growth,” says Tadiwos Belete. Swept away, the images of poverty and famine that flooded screens in the 1980s? Not really. Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world, where the average salary is less than 50 euros per month. One third of the population lives below the poverty line. But they are also numerous to pull out of the game.
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