The Ethiopian Diaspora for Research and Education Advancement through Partnership (ED-REAP) is a 501(c)(3) organization formed by a dedicated group of Ethiopian professors working in various US-based universities with the vision of linking the vast scholarly resources of the Ethiopian Diaspora with appropriate Ethiopian higher learning and research institutions for the betterment of the people of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Diaspora (ED) is a huge reservoir of world-class scholarly skills in a wide array of multi-disciplinary fields of study; and has amassed a vast amount of teaching, research, leadership, management, and policy-making experience from all over the world. Because of its cultural, emotional and historical attachment to Ethiopia, the Diaspora can play a significant role in accelerating the ambitious developmental activities currently underway in Ethiopia.
Some members of the Ethiopian Diaspora (ED), including all the founding members of ED-REAP, have been already engaged in various research and capacity building activities for many years. However, even though well-intentioned and useful, these individually initiated activities usually end up being fragmented, poorly planned and, at times, repetitive. It is possible that such un-coordinated activities may put an unintended burden on the poorly equipped local Ethiopian institutions. Hence, the net benefit of these well-intentioned activities may not have been as great as it could have been, had the efforts been well coordinated. Thus, the need for an organization that coordinates and streamlines ED activities in higher education and research is very timely and relevant.
The goal of ED-REAP is, therefore, to alleviate such fragmentation by allowing for better planning and coordination of research capacity-building efforts, by bringing together a multi-disciplinary group of academicians from the ED to work with appropriate and interested Ethiopian universities and research institutions in a well-planned manner. In addition to the engagement by members of the organization, the group brings great potential for creating networks between home institutions of the ED here in the US and appropriate partners in Ethiopia. The recent governmental initiatives in Ethiopia make this an opportune time for the effective involvement of the proposed organization. The vision and mission of the organization respond to the urgent need to increase access to quality higher education in order to assure the manpower, scientific information, and technologies needed for Ethiopian national development.
Collectively, the founding members of ED-REAP bring a multi-disciplinary set of world-class expertise in academia and a well-established record of research and scholarship. Because each member of ED-REAP benefitted from growing up and studying in Ethiopia, the group is highly committed to pursuing activities that are beneficial to Ethiopia. In fact, they have already been doing so for several years, as we briefly outline in the Background Document