Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, spends his time shuttling between Riyadh and Ethiopia, where he was born in a village 64 years ago. The son of a Yemeni father and Ethiopian mother, Al Amoudi boasts an estimated net worth of $10 billion. He is the richest Ethiopian and, according to Forbes, the 64th richest man in the world. Forty-five years ago, he emigrated to Saudi Arabia and built his fortune in oil refineries and the booming construction industry.

But Al Amoudi never lost touch with his homeland. In fact, Ethiopian real-estate has become a key part of his burgeoning portfolio. In 2009, Al Amoudi's company, Saudi Star Agricultural Development, signed long-term leases for nearly 25,000 acres in the country's northeastern regional state, Gambella, to produce rice for the Saudi market. Early in 2009,...

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