Haddis Tilahun has been in business for almost 20 years. Tilahun is the Executive Director of United Africa Group (UAG), a 100% Namibian owned group of companies.
From humble beginnings, UAG was established by Tilahun and his wife Martha Namumdjebo-Tilahun. This visionary Executive Director of UAG has grown it into a company worth hundreds of millions of dollars with a diverse portfolio including Financial Services, Hospitality, Property Management and Investment, and Petroleum.
In 2001, a division of the group was established, namely United Africa Hospitality, shortly after which a partnership with Protea Hotels South Africa was formed. UAG now holds 100% of the shares in Protea Hotels Namibia which is built on the collective strength of brand power and the remarkable growth of the Namibian hospitality industry.
Tilahun’s entrepreneurial drive and desire for innovation also motivated him to explore new grounds in Renewable Energy; being Namibia’s first ever IPP holder on Wind Farming. A joint partnership between Aeolus Power Generation, a Dutch investor and UAG will be instrumental in helping to solve part of Namibia’s energy crises by becoming a self sufficient, environmentally friendly and pioneering center of renewable energy in Southern Africa.
In 2010, a significant milestone was achieved with the launch of Erongo Desalination Plant in Wlotzasbaken, along Namibia’s west coast. The desalination plant, of equal shareholding by UAG and Areva was opened mainly to supply clean water to Areva’s Trekkoje Uranium Mine. Tilahun is hopeful that Erongo Desalination Plant will be a contributor in addressing future water shortages in the country.
Tilahun aims at transforming the skyline of Windhoek forever to an urban and dynamic one by partnering with some South African firms to construct ultra-modern buildings in the city centre called Freedom Square. In this complex, he will be honouring his father-in-law, the late Eliakim Namundjebo, by an iconic collaboration with the Hilton International, a leading global hospitality company. Eliakim Namundjebo Plaza Hilton will be Namibia’s first five (plus) star hotel.
On completion in 2010, the eight storey luxury hotel will consist of 160 rooms and suites, retail shops and boutiques, a casino, restaurants, bars and conferencing facilities amongst others.
UAG is one of the leading companies in Namibia that employs over 480 employees in all its subsidiaries. It has a total asset capitalisation of over N$ 600,000,000 and over N$ 228 million turnover based on the current 3rd quarter projection of 2010.
Tilahun sees very exciting times ahead for UAG by adding to its portfolio, specialized financial services, fuel services provision to off-shore operators and a Protea Hotel in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, ultimately bringing UAG’s position to the next level within the Namibian and Southern African economies.
Tilahun serves on the Presidential Advisory Council to the President of the Republic of Namibia on economic interests in the areas of employment creation, skills development and training, strategic economic activities and economic growth by way of foreign direct investments, local economic stimulation incentives and investor initiative programs.
Tilahun serves as a member of various Boards, professional associations as well as trustee for several Trusts.
Out of his busy schedule, Tilahun enjoys spending time with his family. His pass time activities include cycling, squash, golf, and discovering new innovative business ideas through reading and interacting with the relevant trend setters.
Tilahun is a family man with 3 children aged between 15 and 17.