Vancouver Ethiopian Blog

Ethiopian life in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Ethiopian Role Model: Joseph Kibur

In my early posts, I featured Danil W. Yohannes and Prof Sossina M. Haile as role model Ethiopians. While thinking about my next role model Ethiopian, a local, Vancouver based, outstanding Ethiopian crossed my mind. This gentle man is none other than Joseph Kibur.

Photo: Joseph Kibur

Joseph came to Canada as an 11 year old in 1983 to join his father, who was studying for an M.Sc in Chemistry in Montreal. Joseph did not know a word of French or English when he arrived in Canada. He worked hard to catch up with his classmates. His hard work paid off when, up on graduating from high school, he landed a scholarship to join Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby BC in 1990.

While at SFU, Joseph showed not only his academic abilities, but also his athletic abilities when he won several cross country running races. He was the Canadian cross country running champion in 1993, and represented Canada at the World Cross Country Championships several times.

Up on graduation from SFU in 1996 in Business and Mathematics, Joseph launched NetNation (NN) Communications, Inc., a Vancouver based web hosting company.

NetNation became a Nasdaq traded company in 1999, and at the height of the tech boom, the market value of NetNation was over $350 Million CAD. At its peak, NN employed more than 120 people, out of whom more than a dozen were Ethiopians. Joseph gave employment opportunities to qualified local Ethiopians.

Many tech companies disappeared in the tech dot-com bust of early 2000’s, however, NN continued its business due to mostly Joseph’s leadership.

In 2003, NN was sold for a cool $10 million US dollars (at the time well over $13 million Canadian Dollars). Joseph did not just sit down idle since selling his company, rather he has been working diligently, running many projects; from real estate development to online businesses.

Joseph has set up a non profit organization to help disadvantaged children in Ethiopia. He is funding this effort out of his own initiatives and any one is welcome to join him in this great cause by clicking here.

In addition to the many businesses he is currently running, Joseph is a dedicated family man raising his three children.

Joseph has recently acquired a 50,000 square meter land just 11 Km North of Addis Ababa in a town called Sululta. What is his plan for this huge land? Just see his company’s press release below:

The First Private Athletics Village to be Built in Sululta, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, December 4, 2009: Yaya Africa Athletics Village P.L.C, a new company established in 2009 has begun the construction of a modern athletics village in Sululta, 11 KM outside the city of Addis Ababa.

The project is worth an estimated 80 million birr and will be constructed in three phases. The shareholders of the company include two prominent athletes – Haile Gebrselassie and Belay Welasha, as well as an Ethiopian born Canadian businessman and former athlete Joseph Kibur. The facility will include a running track, hotel, restaurant, gymnasium and sports clinic. It is to be built on 50,000 sq. m. of land and the first phase of the project is expected to be operational by September 2010.

“Haile, who has been making athletics history for the better part of two decades is about to make a new history by building the first private athletics village in the country. I am happy and excited to be part of this history”, says Joseph Kibur, President and major shareholder of the company. “Our aim is to have the facility ready well before the London Olympics so that there will be enough time to produce new talent and continue Ethiopia’s winning tradition”.

Once the facility is fully operational, selected individuals will be provided with the range of services required for world class athletes. This would include proper diet created by a professional, psychological training, climate controlled training rooms to simulate high humidity and hot conditions, doctors and massage professionals for injury prevention and treatment.

In addition to providing services for local athletes, the hotel in the facility will also be used to house foreign athletes interested in high altitude training. By making the facility a tourist destination, it will earn the country foreign currency.

For more information please contact:
Joseph Kibur
President, Yaya Africa Athletics Village P.L.C.

It is great to see that Joseph has chosen to invest in his native land and give employment opportunities to many.

Some of Joseph’s Current Projects Include:
* Developing a six story apartment hotel in the trendy part of Addis Ababa (Bolle), just a stone throw away from the Millennium Hall
* Renting construction machineries such as dump trucks and concrete mixers
* Developing a sports and recreation complex in Sululta
* Helping local athletes find sponsors abroad

I would like to sincerely thank Joseph for not forgetting his roots and giving job opportunities to our people both in Ethiopia and in Vancouver.

Also, I would like to thank other local business people, who have given job opportunities to our people.


My next blog entry will be on Thursday April 01, 2010.
Mullkam Samint!

March 25, 2010 - Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Many thanks for your information via your blogs!

    May GOD bless you!


    Comment by Aschalew Assefa Haile | March 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Dear editor: Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story.

    Focusing on such positive stories is very important for the Ethiopian Diaspora.

    Joseph: I am proud of your accomplishments! Keep it up!

    Comment by Aster | March 26, 2010 | Reply

  3. It is an inspirational story. Thank you for the editor and Yoseph. Keep up with the good work.

    Comment by Ephrem Tadesse | March 26, 2010 | Reply

  4. Thanks for every thing you did

    Comment by Kiya | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  5. Wow, that is a great story.

    Joseph – you were 11 in 1983? So, today in 2010, this will make you a 38 year old man. What is your secret that you look so young? I am not sure when the above picture was taken, but I think, you look like 28 years young! I guess rich guys do not age fast!

    Comment by Sarah Abebe | April 6, 2010 | Reply

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