I have been working on area studies in Ethiopia since I was assigned a research position in 1996. My research focus is the socio-economic transformation of Ethiopia, especially in rural areas. While Ethiopia’s economy has grown rapidly in recent years, the government has been criticized for its political repression. Rural communities in Ethiopia have also been undergoing major changes because of political and economic changes.
Rural people have been actively responding to these changes in their daily lives. Their survival strategies include starting new economic activities, changing existing habits and customs, and migrating to cities in Ethiopia and abroad. My research aims to elucidate these issues through fieldwork research.
Current research projects
My present work involves two subjects.
One subject is the international migration of young African women, especially to Arab Gulf countries. Although educational opportunities for girls in Ethiopia have improved substantially in recent years, many young women have chosen to work in Arab Gulf countries because the domestic labor market does not afford enough job opportunities for educated young women. I have researched the survival strategies of young women who choose to work abroad despite the risk of human rights violations such as abuse.
The other subject examines the effects of new agricultural products on rural areas, especially socio-economic transformation. I plan to conduct further surveys on employment patterns and distribution channels in the flower and rice industries, which have expanded rapidly in recent years.