Tewodros Ashenafi is Founder and Chairman of SouthWest Holdings Ltd., a leading Ethiopian holding company, and Chairman of Ambo Mineral Water, one of the leading beverage brands in Ethiopia and part of Coca Cola Beverages Africa.
Ashenafi is the local partner and did the largest privatization and private transaction in Ethiopian history, the $1.4 billion enterprise value privatization of National Tobacco Enterprise (NTE), were he joined as board director, and Japan Tobacco. He is also the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SouthWest Energy (HK), an African indigenous oil and gas exploration company, which is the top 10 acreage holder in East Africa.
Ashenafi started his career at Merrill Lynch & Co. He serves on the Board of the EastWest Institute, a leading security think tank; the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council, a non-partisan institution devoted to promoting transatlantic cooperation and international security; and the Advisory Board of Cepheus Growth Capital Partners a leading Ethiopian-focused private equity firm. Ashenafi is on the Advisory Board of the Columbia University Africa Centre and a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Intercontinental and Pan Asia Chapters.
He holds a degree in Economics from Columbia University and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School. He was nominated as a Young Global Leader (YGL) in Davos in 2009.