Selamawit Samuel is the Vice President of Sunshine Investment, founded by her father Samuel Tafese, a local contractor and business tycoon. Involved in the areas of construction, hospitality and philanthropy, the family run company has been a pioneer on many fronts in Ethiopia. Selamawit is also making a name for herself, as she is set to inaugurate a chocolate factory in the capital while completing an MBA. Recently, she sat down with Samuel Getachew of The Reporter to deliberate on the work of Sunshine, her own business endeavors and how she envisions herself a decade from now. Excerpts:
The Reporter: It appears that you are emerging as a successful businesswoman in your own right. You are now on the verge of opening a chocolate factory. Share with me some of the projects you are currently working on?
Selamawit Samuel: I currently oversee the development, asset management and operations of Sunshine’s current and future hotel and commercial real estate projects. There is also the chocolate factory you mentioned, which will be the first bean-to bar chocolate production with some innovative teff and coffee components here in Ethiopia. According to the reputable publisher “The Economist” the middle class of Ethiopia will be quadrupling within the next 5 years so, the Fast-moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector is something I want to infiltrate further.
You currently serve as chairwoman and executive vice president of the company. Tell me about some of the work the company is currently involved in?
Sunshine is involved in various activities. We are in different segments such as road construction, real estate and hospitality. Our Core business is construction, the largest industrial subsector sustaining Ethiopia’s growth.
We are currently thriving in the road sector with around 173 KM of road on hand and over 874 KM handed over. We are also resilient in the real estate market with over 3000 housing units handed over and several more in the pipeline. Our brand stands for reliability and excellence. Hotels are also in our portfolio with partners such as Marriott and Hilton. We plan to grow our hospitality wing by partnering up with foreign investors and developers in the future.
Read more at: The Reporter