About Us

Addis Ababa City at night

After a year of market research and almost two years of discussions with the Regulator, Ethio Lease received a license from the National Bank of Ethiopia to operate a leasing company in July of 2019, becoming the first foreign-owned entity to be granted a financial services license in the country.

Ethio Lease is a subsidiary company of African Asset Finance Company (AAFC), which was launched in 2017 to address Africa’s underserved market for equipment leasing and asset-backed lending, with Ethiopia as its first market. Headquartered in New York, and with offices in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, AAFC is rapidly expanding its offerings to several other markets across the African continent.

About AAFC


African Asset Finance Company (AAFC) provides equipment leasing and asset-backed lending in Africa through AAFC group companies and partnerships. AAFC is a privately owned US corporation, with its main office located in New York.

Learn More


Ethio Lease is led by (Acting) CEO Fregenet Getachew Desta and COO Tommy Graham. Fregenet brings 20 years’ experience having worked in East Africa & the UK. Tommy has a lifelong career in equipment leasing, most recently as Managing Director of Loxam’s leasing businesses in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Our Team


Tommy Graham

Tommy serves as COO of Ethio Lease and is based in Addis Ababa. He joined AAFC in April 2019 as a senior advisor.

Tommy has an impressive 40-year track record in the equipment leasing and rental industry in the UK, Middle East and South Africa. During his career he was, inter alia, Managing Director of Loxam's Rapid Access businesses in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Managing Director of Rapid Middle East, Managing Director of Nationwide Access, and Service Manager for Libra-Plant in South Africa.

He started his career as an electrical engineer at Babcock & Wilcox.

Fregenet Getachew Desta

Fregenet is the Acting CEO of Ethio Lease. Joined Ethio Lease as of July 2021. She brings 20 years’ experience having worked in East Africa & the UK.

She has served as Country Manager, Ethiopia and Uganda and later as Marketing Head, East Africa at the French Pharmaceutical company, SANOFI. She also served as Marketing, Sales and Communications Director at the International NGO, Population Services International (PSI) Ethiopia. Her recent role was as Country Manager at Julphar Pharmaceuticals PLC (Ethiopia), looking after the import business and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Factory located in Addis Ababa.

Fregenet has an MSc Molecular Life Sciences Research & BSc Medical Biochemistry.

Degol Gossaye

Degol Gossaye is the Vice President Business Development and Marketing. He joined Ethio Lease in 2019 from Essilor-Sun Optical Tech, where he was CEO.

Previously, Degol worked for 14 years at United Bank as a Credit Manager, Risk Manager, and the Branch Manager. He started his career at United as a Senior Analyst.

Degol earned an MBL and Economics Degree from UNISA and is a CFA candidate.

Menen Shewarega

Menen is the CRO of Ethio Lease. She brings more than 11 years of cumulative credit and risk management experience. She Joined Ethio Lease in August 2019.

Previously, Menen spent more than 11 years with United Bank S.C. where she rose to the position of Credit Manager. During her tenure with United Bank, she held a wide variety of banking functions, including commercial lending officer and risk & credit analysis.

Menen has a BA in Economics & an MBA in Business Administration with a Marketing specialization.

Board of Directors


Ethio Lease is overseen and supported by a board of directors, a group of renowned business leaders from around the world who bring extensive experience in Ethiopia, Africa, banking and non-banking financial services, and best-in-class management practices.

Anne Eriksson

Anne recently retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) as the Regional Senior Partner for Eastern Africa and Senior Country Partner Kenya, a role in which she oversaw 1,500 employees in six African countries.

Brooks Washington

Brooks is founder of Roha and a partner with the firm. He serves as a board member on all of Roha’s portfolio companies and previously served as CEO (General Manager) of Juniper Glass Industries, Roha’s first large-scale industrial development.

Frans VanSchaik

Frans serves as Vice Chair of Ethio Lease and is the Chairman and CEO of African Asset Finance Company Inc. He is also a Roha partner and serves on a number of affiliated company boards.

Gabriel Negatu

Gabriel recently retired from the African Development Bank as Director General, Eastern Africa, where he directed the bank’s largest Regional Center, responsible for 13 member countries and a portfolio valued in excess of $9 billion (US).

Girma Wake

Girma serves as the chair of Ethio Lease.

He also serves on the Board of Ethiopian Airlines, as the chair of United Insurance and as an adviser to the Government of Togo.

Michael Turner

Michael is Managing Director of Actis in East Africa.
Born in Tanzania and based in Nairobi, Kenya, Michael is an experienced private equity investor and has developed a deep understanding of PE investment throughout sub- Saharan Africa. He serves on various company boards, including with two banks and the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

Mohab Mufti

Mohab is a Saudi Executive with thirty years of experience in financial services, including global markets, structured finance and direct investments. He currently leads advisory firm Decca Investments and serves on the Board of Arqaam Capital, a Dubai-based emerging markets investment bank.

Careers & Opportunities

Are you seeking an opportunity to advance your career? We are hiring experienced professionals and promising new talent for various roles.

View Opportunities

Our Impact Philosophy

Ethio Lease is committed to both driving business growth and generating positive impact. By making high-quality equipment accessible to businesses, we help accelerate economic development by enabling faster business growth and creating jobs.

Our operations have the potential to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands through greater economic activity, improved efficiency and increased job opportunity.

How We Do Business

We follow best practices in all aspects of our business:
  • We give priority to leasing quality equipment that compares favorably against its peers in the areas of environmental impact, safety and longevity.
  • We have a strict Code of Ethics and Business Policy with a zero tolerance for corruption and strictly enforce a code of ethical conduct.
  • We abide by the UNPRI.
  • We comply with all applicable sanctions’ regulations.
  • We comply with the regulations of the National Bank of Ethiopia.
  • We comply with AAFC group policies.
  • We are a member of ELFA.

How We Decide Which
Businesses To Work With


When it comes to deciding which businesses to lease or lend to, we use the following three screening strategies:


We check against lists of excluded companies (e.g., manufacturers of controversial weapons, companies known for human rights abuses or inexcusable negative environmental, etc.) and reject these out of hand.


We prioritize companies with better Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) records than their peers, using a combination of our own analysis and third-party research.


We screen against international standards of business practice, which is embedded into our credit and risk evaluation process.

While we recognize that we cannot control how individual businesses treat their workers or the environment, we do proactively monitor all lease agreements and look for ways to address potential issues.

How We Partner


We are committed to addressing the needs of organizations in priority sectors, such as small farmers and public hospitals, that have limited access to credit. To this end, we partner with local or international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local cooperatives and other aggregators such as contract farming organizations, to create a combination of clustered offerings and technical assistance, typically with an umbrella first-loss guarantee offered by the partner.

Technical assistance can include training on how to operate machinery or equipment, support with various management and administrative functions, and general strategic business advice.

We also partner with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their distributors, with certified Third-Party Maintenance organizations, Insurance Companies and other service providers to get as close as possible to a “full service” leasing experience for our customers.

Our Governance

We hold accountability and transparency in high regard. Our code of Ethics and Business Conduct and the terms of reference of our Board Committees can be viewed through the following links.