Mr. Ashenafi is the Chairman & CEO of SouthWest Energy (HK) Ltd; the first Ethiopian oil and gas exploration company, with 3 blocks 9, 9A, and 13 in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. He is also the Chairman of SouthWest Development, PLC; a leading Ethiopian oil and gas services company which is the largest provider of manpower, logistics, fuel transportation and base-camp services to oil and gas companies in Ethiopia. He is the Chairman of Ambo Mineral Water S.C, one of the leading beverage brands in Ethiopia, and led the privatization of Ambo in partnership with SABMiller. Prior to joining SouthWest Energy, Mr. Ashenafi worked for an international, political and economic consulting firm, advising large international companies and pension funds about investment conditions in emerging markets; mainly in Latin America and the CIS. Mr. Ashenafi also has been involved in emerging market debt and equity financing, advising on market reform, development and capacity building. He started his career at Merrill Lynch & Co, and went through the Merrill training program. Mr. Ashenafi holds a degree in Economics from Columbia University, and was under the guidance of Prof. Edmund Phelps, a Nobel Prize winner in Economics. Mr. Ashenafi is a graduate of the Harvard Business School - Owner/President Management Program (OPM’38). Mr. Ashenafi was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos) as one of 200 outstanding leaders in their field under the age of 40.