South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has granted an honorary nationality to Ayesheshim Teka, an Ethiopian citizen.
Ayesheshim, who is currently the chairperson for the Great South Sudan Run Association, first went to South Sudan as a foreign investor in 2007.
Speaking during the “Great Run for Peace in South Sudan” event at the Dr. Garang Mausoleum on Saturday, Kiir lauded the businessman for his great contribution towards development in the country.
“Comrade Ayesheshim was the brainchild of this Great South Sudan Run Association. Teka has now become a citizen of South Sudan by naturalization. This is to congratulate him and assure him that all the efforts he has been doing cannot go in vain without being recognized by the people of South Sudan,” said Kiir.
He described Ayesheshim as a great philanthropist who built eight health facilities and six police stations in the remote villages of South Sudan.
The South Sudanese leader thanked facilitators of Saturday’s event and the participants for seeking to restore peace, unity and love.
Nationalities from Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Eritrea and South Sudan participated in the event held in Juba.
On his part, Ayesheshim thanked the president for the honorary citizenship award.
“It was a surprise for me to hear his Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit talking about me and issued a decree of honorary citizenship. I am very thankful to the leadership of South Sudan,” said Ayesheshim.
He added, “When he gave this honorary citizenship, it is a responsibility, it is not for enjoyment, now I am thinking of what to do next because such an honour should be taken with seriousness”.
Ayesheshim vowed to support the sports sector.
According to the Ethiopian businessman, the sight of women and children begging on roads and streets often inflicts pain on him.
“I was really excited and after I came back from the dinner and I sat with my pastors thanking God for this golden chance. When I came to South Sudan in 2007, there were no beggars on the roads. South Sudanese are very proud people, but ever since the war broke out, there is high influx of children on streets across the country,” he said.
Ayesheshim said he initiated South Sudan Great Run Association as an initiative to raise money for eradicating hunger in the young nation.