December 2018

Mella December Event

It was a true honor hearing from Ethiopia’s investment mogul – Zemedeneh Negatu on our December Mella Monthly event. Zemedeneh is currently the global chairman of Fairfax Africa Fund and previously served as the Managing Partner for Ernst & Young (E&Y) in Ethiopia. His extensive global and African experience investing in and advising clients in financial services, manufacturing, telecoms, agriculture, and airlines helped us gain powerful insight into the business and entrepreneurial sector in Ethiopia. Over the course of the interview, Zemedeneh Negatu brushed upon a range of topics including the need to invest in local talent, the challenges of doing business in Ethiopia and some of the business opportunities to look forward to in the coming years. What was so fascinating about Zemedeneh was his ability to connect with the crowd on a personal level by sharing stories close to his heart. He also backed almost everything he said with actual statistics and numbers that helped the audience picture and understand the concepts better. The advice and examples he set through the event were also brilliant. Big thanks to Zemedeneh Negatu for a remarkable night that left us all inspired.

Some Fun Facts

Successful Event
Fascinating Entrepreneurs
Video produced

The story of how Zemdeneh Negatu ended up becoming Ethiopia’s investment mogul [1/5]

Zemedeneh Negatu on where the biggest business opportunities lie in Ethiopia today [2/5]

“Our people are our assets” – Zemedeneh Negatu [3/5]

Zemedeneh Negatu on Ethiopia’s model for transformation [4/5]

Growth drivers are urbanization and demographics” – Zemedeneh Negatu [5/5]


It was a great honor hearing from Bethelhem Dejene on our December Mella Monthly event. Bethelhem innovated a tree free paper manufacturing scheme that uses agriculture waste raw materials such as straw to produce eco-friendly papers. Bethelhem dreams of making Zafree an internationally competitive manufacturer of high quality eco-friendly pulp paper and already seems to have made such great progress. Zafree Papers has grown to secure two lands since it was established in 2017. One of the lands is in Zambia showing that Zafree is already penetrating into the African market. On the event, Bethelhem shared some of the challenges she faced while setting up her business among which was securing land. She also shared some of the opportunities that made it possible for her to duplicate her startup in other African Countries. Watch the full video to gain valuable insights into the green sector.

Mella sits with Bethelhem Dejene, Founder of Zafree Papers [1/2]

Bethelhem Dejene on making Zafree an international manufacturer of eco-friendly pulp paper [2/2]


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