May 13, 2012
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for the first time publicly hinted of an oil discovery in the country after one year from now while he was addressing participants of the Ethiopia Investment Forum on Wednesday, a sideline event to the 22nd World Economic Forum on Africa.
Meles told the participants of the forum comprising 200 international corporate CEOs and 200 local business leaders that there are investment opportunities in the extractive industry including oil exploration while pointing his hand at Tewodros Ashenafi, Founder, Chairman and CEO of South West Energy (HK) Ltd, the first Ethiopian oil and gas exploration company, and saying “Tewodros will be the bearer of the good news.”
Meles told the participants that the fact Ethiopia has been registering a double digit growth for the last eight years, and that it has a population size of 85 million easily trainable workforce and consumers are some of the facts the do attract foreign investors to invest in the country in addition to the tax and other incentives the government provides.
He went on to say that there are ample opportunities for foreign investors to tap into the mining sector including oil exploration.
In a recent interview with The Reporter, Tewodros had said ,“I believe that Ethiopia will be an oil producing country.”
Aside from the good news about the oil, Tewodros has become successful this week after years of lobbying pertinent officials to bring the World Economic Forum to Ethiopia.
Tewodros has for years been member of the World Economic Forum on Africa.
The Forum has brought to Ethiopia over 700 participants from 70 countries, over 500 of whom are CEO of global heavyweights such as Walmart President and Chief Executive Officer, Doug McMillon, and Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian billionaire who invested in a cement plant in Ethiopia and in other Africa countries in addition to others ventures he is engaged in.