grantees » Dawit Desta

Dawit  Desta, Ethiopia

Dawit is an enthusiastic Ethiopian agricultural expert. Dawit spent 10 years “exerting every effort possible towards sustainable development in Ethiopia especially in grass-roots environmental conservation activities in the most remote region of the country and [then] with the Forum for Environment.” He worked as an officer for the Green Award Programme, which focused on rewarding and celebrating green advocacy and raising awareness in his native country. His nominator, Negusu Aklilu, described him as “dedicated to a collaborative kind of advocacy to address most of the environmental and natural resource issues in the country”.  

Despite his leadership capabilities, Dawit said, “I had had little possibilities for formal higher education, […] and the JWH initiative gave me the chance to pursue my long-awaited dream of continuing further education.” Thus, using the JWH initiative grant, Dawit completed an IELTS examination, which paved his entry to higher education. He then joined the University of South Africa in Addis Ababa for a bachelor’s degree in Human and Social Sciences with a specialization in Government, Administration and Development. This complemented his many years of experience in the field and knowledge about natural resource management. He says, “[My studies] have made me well versed in global as well as local development issues, approaches and methodologies… and I am prepared to skillfully engage in development activities of the country. My personal profile has developed both in terms of personal skills as well as qualifications.” Soon to finish, he is confident about his studies’ importance; “I will be a person well prepared to better help the laws to be enhanced in Ethiopia in the sector of sustainable development.” Today, he runs his own business to support himself and his family while remaining engaged in political, social and environmental activism. Dawit has no doubt of his future path: “The experiences I gained in the past fifteen years through formal and informal education as well as work experience need to be reinvested back so as to benefit the community I belong to.”



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