The legendary long-distance athlete and investment tycoon, Haile Gebresilassie, said that he is still waiting for the approval of the Addis Ababa City Administration cabinet to secure a plot of land he requested to build an assembly plant for the Korean vehicle brand Hyundai in the southwestern outskirts of Addis Ababa.
However, sources told The Reporter that the city cabinet had a meeting last week where it evaluated Haile’s request for land but rejected it because the requested land size is too large in view of the current shortage of investment land. However, sources further said that the cabinet is still planning to reconsider provided that Haile is willing to reduce size of the plot considerably.
However, Haile said that the plot has not yet been confirmed by the city formally.
Haile had requested some 70 hectares of land for the car assembly originally. On his part, Haile told The Reporter that he recognizes the need to reduce it to 30 hectares. “I understand the problems in investment land shortage which the administration is feeling in recent times”.
He also told The Reporter that he applied for the plot almost two years ago. He said that his plan was to build the plant and begin assembly operation immediately.
He also said that the Korean carmaker’s board reapproved Haile’s car assembly plant to manufacture the vehicle in Ethiopia recently.
He also said his company’s engineers were sent to Korea to received practical training in Hyundai’s factory.