A Neglected Resource in Community Development: Participation of Ethiopian Academics in the Development of their Communities

  •  Worku Legesse    
  •  Getnet Tadele    
  •  Aynalem Adugna    
  •  Helmut Kloos    


This article examines three community development projects initiated by university educated individuals in or near their places of birth with the aim of presenting evidence that academics can be instrumental in contributing to development in their communities. The three projects used different approaches and resources. The project in Arya Jawi Kebele was developed and managed by a church-linked family association that aimed at broadly based development of this rural district guided by the theological principles of an Ethiopian evangelical church. The project in Kersole Village was initiated and managed by six university educated brothers, four of whom are currently living in the United States. Their primary objective was to help their family and secondly to improve livelihoods in the community. The project in the small town of Azena, conceived and fostered by a professor at Addis Ababa University, focused on the construction of a bridge over a river and several schools, with financial support mainly from several international NGOs. The academics’ familiarity with the needs of and their acceptance by the communities facilitated interaction with local leaders, organizations and craftsmen during the planning and implementation processes and promoted community participation.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1927-0488
  • Issn(Onlne): 1927-0496
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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