Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Samuel Tafesse, managing director of Sunshine Construction Plc, has inked a management contract agreement with Marriott International Inc. Tesfalem Waldyes, Special to Fortune, sat down with Samuel at his office, located on Africa Avenue (Bole Road), opposite Flamingo Bar & Restaurant to talk about his recent deal.

Fortune: Marriot International Inc launched a strategic plan to expand its brand to African countries four years ago. They already have hotels in Egypt, are constructing a hotel in Ghana, and are now coming to Ethiopia. What are their reasons behind their move to Ethiopia?

We are the ones who pushed them to choose Ethiopia. I and Berhanu Bekele, head of our Hotel Development Division, repeatedly requested Marriott to take over our hotel management. The first few times they did not have that much willingness because of [questions over] the availability of market. The [convincing] process took almost four years. After that, investigators came here, assessed the situation, and, then, they told us that they were convinced to move here. Since then, we have been discussing with them about the design and things to meet their standards. Read Full Interview on Addis Fortune.

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