Biography of Samuel Tafesse | Childhood, Business, & Philanthropy

Biography of Samuel Tafesse

October 27, 2022

Samuel Tafesse is an Ethiopian multi-millionaire, philanthropist, and businessman who gathered enormous wealth from many successful investments. The construction and real estate mogul, Samuel Tafesse, is without a doubt one of the wealthiest businessmen in Ethiopia. He has left a huge imprint on the society of his country, and many people look up to him as a shining example of a prosperous person who has become well-off through his intellect and hard work.

Early Life and Childhood

Samuel Tafesse was born in Addis Ababa around Cherkos area. He was raised in a poor family, where his parents did not have money for tuition for his siblings. Samuel, as the firstborn of the family, had to work hard at a young age to support his aging father. With these big responsibilities for Samuel, childhood life was a struggle. Samuel then began a job as a parking guard at the Addis Ababa Stadium. Besides, he took advantage of the chance to work there by selling cigarettes, soda, and chewing gum. After completing high school, Samuel worked for a small construction firm where he was responsible for fixing the roofs of buildings in Addis Ababa. In the years that followed, Samuel enrolled at Addis Ababa University at the age of 19 to study civil engineering but left after three years to help his family financially.

Samuels has been in many situations where life has presented him with difficult challenges but has never failed to respond. His childhood challenges only made him stronger and more self-reliant. His long, hard-working life experiences contributed to the development of his character as someone who holds himself to high standards.

Business and Investments

Samuel Tafesse

Samuel had a humble beginning. His career journey began when he started as an individual contractor, engaged in roof maintenance. He built his business on his integrity and hard work, establishing one of the biggest local construction companies in Ethiopia. From working by himself, he founded a giant company with more than 3000 employees.

Samuel is now the owner and CEO of Sunshine Investment Group, which he founded in 1983. The investment group is indeed one of the top construction and real estate companies in Ethiopia. His company is known for winning some of the most lucrative construction projects in Ethiopia, such as large-scale road and bridge projects. Samuel Tafesse is also engaged in large-scale real estate developments that include residential, leisure, and commercial properties throughout Ethiopia. The renowned Marriott Executive Apartments in Addis Ababa, the first Marriott-branded property in Africa, is one of the more than 5,000 residential and commercial buildings that Sunshine Investment Group has constructed in Ethiopia. Samuel reportedly has an estimated net worth of 1.6 billion dollars, making him one of Africa’s richest men.


Samuel Tafesse

Along with his business success, Samuel Tafesse is also praised for his philanthropic work. Samuel is the founder of the Sunshine Philanthropy Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of young adults, low-income families, and socially disadvantaged children who lack adequate family support. In three regional states of Ethiopia, three schools that can accommodate more than 1,200 students were built thanks to an investment of more than 55 million Birr by the foundation.

Written by Sophonias Woldu

Sophonias Woldu is an Ethiopian author with an outstanding skill for crafting unique and captivating articles that explore different aspects of life. He had an inquisitive mind from a young age and was always fascinated by the power of language and words. He writes articles about philosophy, theology, his native Ethiopia, and basically anything and everything else. Before embarking on a writing career, he had already begun a successful career in the electromechanical engineering field, having earned his degree from Addis Ababa Science and Technology University. In addition to being a prolific writer, Sophonias is also a public speaker and tech enthusiast who believes in harnessing technology to improve the lives of Ethiopians. Currently, Sophonias writes articles for on a part-time basis.

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