At The Center Of The World In Ethiopia
As the world lurches seemingly non-stop from one major humanitarian crisis to another, and as development challenges grow in complexity and urgency, this first-person account of leadership at the humanitarian and development frontline could not be more relevant or timely. The setting is Ethiopia from 2018 to 2021. The narrator is a former United Nations agency Representative to Ethiopia who framed his team’s core purpose as helping the country meet its crisis-ridden transformation challenge, impartially and neutrally. His narrative is rooted in his self-identity as a black African man in the “international community” – an identity that defined how he understood and responded to Ethiopian expressions of potent global social, political, and economic forces, and the sharp tensions and contradictions they generated. Racism in his organization and the wider “international community” loomed large. Fundamental questions regarding privilege, responsibility, and impact had to be confronted. As the narrator and his team did so, they found themselves firmly at the center of the world.