Home > City Journal > Unity University sold to Alamudi

Unity University sold to Alamudi

So things are not that bad for the business tycoon Sheik Mohammed Hussien Alamudi.

He has sealed a deal to buy Unity University for 66 million Birr yesterday, adding a new crown to his business empire.

While Alamudi takes 80 percent of the share, the 20 percent share goes to Midroc’s executive Director Dr. Arega Yirdaw.

After years of battle to save the university, Dr. Fissha Eshetu sold one of the leading private colleges in the country for money borrowed and interest accrued thereon. Over twenty thousand students have graduated from the university in the past ten years.Starting from a small language school, Dr. Fisseha worked his way up to making Unity a notable institution.He often said he had a wish to make it “Africa’s Harvard.” 

With the new owners, a wholesale change in the board of trustees is expected to be made.But some say Alamudi is a bad choice for the university ownership, given his poor record in managing his own Selam Nursing College, which is now said to be on the verge of closing.


The news reported in the Amharic Reporter this morning was in sharp contrast to another report two weeks ago in the same paper saying  an over 170 million birr loan taken by Midroc construction in which the Sheraton Addis was used as a collateral has been listed by the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia(CBE) as non-performing loan.

Categories: City Journal
  1. Sin
    November 26, 2008 at 10:22 am

    So sad.With alamuding nothing works.Nothing!
    The end of unity!

  2. kiki
    November 26, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Finally …..The DR made the right decision …am sure unity will be better off with out him who ever the owner is.

  3. anon
    November 26, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    It is sad and ironic that education in Ethiopia is run by a businessman and that it does not translate into employment.

  4. anon
    November 26, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    It is sad and ironic that education in Ethiopia is run by money-makers and that such an education does not translate into employment.

  5. Abush
    November 27, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I was always confused why Unity couldn’t make that much profit and improvements taking into account the number of students that they comprise.
    1.I bet that the owner is bad on finance matters!
    2. Fierce competition from the other private colleges.
    It is indeed very sad seeing flourishing businesses die quickly!
    He use to be a model for the new entrepreneurs vibe in Addis! I wish him a good luck for his next venture!

  6. November 27, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I think this might be the best thing that could happen to Unity. At least now they would have some sort of standard and the quality of students and curriculum. The other rich guy has already done good and quality investments in education -Selam nursing.
    I don’t believe Unity didn’t make a profit before. It just lacked quality. Plus, at least in the US all the good and big Universities are the Private ones.

  7. sol
    November 27, 2008 at 1:57 pm


    Are sure the quality of Selam Nursing is good? Are you sure “in the US all the good and big universities are the private ones?” That judgement sounds “foggy” to me.

    And your comparison of education in the US and in Ethiopia is “foggier” still.

  8. November 27, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Engdi … I donot set standards for universities. This is just a personal perspective from a personal experiance. I haven’t done any studies on the subject. that being cleared , I know universities like Columbia and Harvard are private owned or they are not run by the state.
    I haven’t compared education in Ethiopia and the US. From a personal experiance again I know Selam Nursing is of a relatively good quality as compared to other private nursing schools in addis.

  9. November 27, 2008 at 5:04 pm


  10. November 27, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    The full acquistion of unity university college by the business tycoon Alamoudi does not take me to a surprise at all. Neither does it induce the slightest happiness in me. The old amharic adage best describes the phenomenon: AHIYA BEMOTE BAMETU KUR -KUR YILAL BALEBETU.

    As a founding and senior member of the academic staff, I feel this step as a foregone conclusion. In other words, the fate of unity, in my opinion, was fait-accompli when the individual entrepreneur was habitually (stubbornly) engaged in one-man show, arbitrary decisions and mismanagement beyond a tolerable limit of time.What happened to Unity is a good predictor of the consequence of nepotism and favoritism.

    The fact that unity being the pioneer tertiary private higher education set up, beyond reasonable doubt, has played a profound role in promoting and stimulating the then state monpolized education system. Indeed, the role played to give a glimmer of hope to thousands of civil servants can’t be over emphasized.

    Even today, I am pessimist about the future of private higher education in general and Unity in particular so long as the prevalent government policy persists.

    ”In bocca al lupo”

  11. sol
    November 28, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    What you hinted at perhaps explains the problem at Unity. [That is nepotism, authoritarian leadership, etc.] But what did you mean by “prevalent government policy?”

  12. November 29, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    it is a bad day for unity university, surely this man he has not any idia a but student or for the university he just want to make mane

  13. November 29, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    oh no it is a bad day 4 uny i feel very sad becouse i was stdy that univirsty. and i am very sad now what i am hearing is that this mone hunger man bout this uny. i am sure the primister wife what ever you call hir name she has some share. this people the don’t care about to the student or the uniy they are greedy greedy greedy

  14. sela
    December 3, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Meskerem did you say you were a student at unity. Well I can’t help it but to say that the quality of the school shows in your post.
    It’s better if you re-read or spell check before you send.
    Becouse? or because
    Stdy? or study
    primister? ………..
    Waw did you pass the exam? I really want to know.

  15. December 4, 2008 at 10:46 am

    it’s shame full because currently medroc have not ablity to manage unity it’s not like other business. any way I feel sorry for docter fessa because he gives all eferts to thise university. I hope unity will be polotical institiuation for the next time.

  16. Kermo Tija
    December 5, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Here is a typical misleading comparison that is many good universites in the US are private. The difference is they are not for PROFIT. I don’t know if the Shiek is buying it for profit or not but the previous operation seems to be a for profit organization. Nothing wrong with that of course

    February 14, 2009 at 4:06 pm


  18. wellwisherofEthiopia
    March 11, 2009 at 8:18 am

    All the best to MIDROC .

    MIDROC or fisha … don’t care .but for me Ethiopia should emerged as developed country in Africa in next 10 years. Ethiopia should act like USA in african region ..thats my wish , my dream


  19. X-men
    April 1, 2009 at 4:04 pm


  20. Ribeka
    June 24, 2009 at 9:30 am

    This is terribly sad news for me. Dr. Fisseha was a very effective to advance educational innovation for the underprivileged….,
    I prefer an educated person own Unity, “Young adults always have everything figured out”.
    Alamudin wouldn’t be included in that “educated” number, But everything is over, and everyone of us can’t change it.

    But I wish all the best things for Unity the rest of the times.

  21. sintayehu simon
    August 13, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Hey who the hell is Alamudi? Is he the one want to sell our land Ethiopia? He is not educationalist nor knows academics should be delivered to student. Dr. Fisseha should not be discouraged as he is the pioneer for the foundation of private higher institution. He is the fanatic educational administrator and a man of change with global contexts.

  22. Samson sam
    August 18, 2009 at 5:27 am

    First of all who are you?
    What did you do for your county?
    At list Alamudi invest his money for better….
    Do something better for you county……
    Lets all contribute our talent, skill and money to build our county

  23. Selamawit
    August 21, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    “………..educational innovation for the underprivileged….,”??????????

    It is a private school and it costs money so it’s for the privilaged my dear.

  24. mark
    September 10, 2009 at 1:29 pm


  25. mark
    September 10, 2009 at 1:35 pm


  26. September 29, 2009 at 11:01 am

    It is time to do best of us(student, instructors,management ,all stake holders to up grade this university
    THE time is know

  27. September 29, 2009 at 11:03 am

    ALL things are right done on the right time

    October 9, 2009 at 11:05 am


  29. Workineh Yalew
    February 17, 2010 at 8:19 am

    I am a student of the university, I appreciate Dr Eshetu did his best for the standard,and then transfer to the right person.B/s education needs more investment in finance and personel,As this person is the right man for our country,I wish the University will continue with its standard forever.

  1. November 27, 2008 at 7:49 am

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