Mohammed Al Amoudi was honoured as an African Businessman of the Year by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in Washington on December 16th, 2014. The Awards Ceremony had as its theme “A Celebration of Excellence in U.S.-Africa Business Relations”. The Awards were given to those “who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in private sector business development and superior service to nation and community”.
In prepared remarks, Mr Al Amoudi, a Saudi citizen, thanked the CCA and congratulated the other individuals who also received Awards. He reaffirmed his commitment to Africa where he has investments employing over 70,000 people across the Continent, but with a special commitment to Ethiopia where he was born, and added:
“I invest in Ethiopia because I want to see greater economic development and greater opportunity for all Ethiopians. We need to provide more training and educational opportunities for the youth of Africa as a whole. My companies and I have always supported training and education for all Ethiopians and for all Africans. My companies in Ethiopia are involved in a variety of industries that include construction, manufacturing, mining, hotels and agriculture. In all of these ventures, we employ and train local people to work on our projects.
“For example, through one of my companies, Saudi Star, we are working on the development of rice, a crop identified by the United Nations as a millennium food. In order to develop rice production, we have had to ensure that there is sufficient water for the crops. We are employing local workers to help build the irrigation and other infrastructures necessary to grow the rice, and we will employ thousands of Ethiopians to farm and process it. Our plans are to grow rice that can be exported and also feed the people of Ethiopia and Africa.
“I am proud of what we are accomplishing in Ethiopia and in Africa. I hope others will see the benefit in investing in the growth and development of not only in Ethiopia but in all African countries. I accept this award on behalf of my employees and my companies across Africa.”
The Corporate Council on Africa is the premier American organization devoted to U.S.-Africa business relations. It includes as members more than 160 companies which represent nearly 85 percent of total U.S. private sector investment in Africa.