Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most populous countries with 90 million people, 80% of which work in agriculture. It is also one the poorest nations in the world. However, 5 Ethiopian students have recently traveled to Seattle to study law at the University of Washington and when they have completed their masters in law degree they will bring these skills back to their country in order to help develop their nation.
The group, which consists of four men and one woman, are working with UW’s law school, a non-profit called Landesa, directed by UW professor Roy Prosterman, and Ethiopian Haramaya University College of Law in order to achieve land rights for Ethiopian citizens as well as improve health care and sustainable development in the country.
The students are able to study abroad here in the states and are receiving full tuition coverage thanks to funds collected from the Ethiopian government, UW donors, and the strong Ethiopian community that resides here in Seattle. They also are living with Seattle host families and learning first hand the cultural differences between America and Ethiopia.
Also, valuable connections will be made between the American and Ethiopian students. Those studying international development law at UW now have the opportunity to forge conversations and connections with these visiting students and learn about the services that are needed in Ethiopia and other countries, and the impediments that keep nations from thriving.
This past year, Ethiopia gross domestic product increased at a staggering 8% while many western countries remained stagnant. In late spring, these five students will finish their degrees and return to Ethiopia in order to help ensure their nation’s economic trend continues to increase.