The Praxis Ethiopia Foundation

Community-driven, Sustainable Development to End Extreme Poverty

The Story of Praxis Ethiopia

Building upon the excellent work of the Ethiopian Social Rehabilitation and Development Fund, The Praxis Ethiopia Foundation promotes, supports, and honors community-driven, science-led, sustainable poverty reduction in Ethiopia and sub-Sahara Africa

Support at the Highest Levels

Ethiopia's Prime Minister supports the Foundation

On 25 January 2002, His Excellency Prime Minister Meles Zenawi graciously accepted our invitation to serve as the Patron of Praxis Ethiopia and His Excellency served as the Honorary Chairperson of the Foundation's Board of Directors until his death in 2012

Ethiopia's President supports the Foundation

In September 2005, His Excellency Ato Girma Wolde Giorgis made the opening address at Praxis Ethiopia's inaugural event at the Sheraton Addis, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In his address, the President referred to Praxis Ethiopia as the "World Bank of Ideas and Innovations."

A Short History

In January 2002, development professionals from around the world met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to participate in the Ethio-Forum 2002.

Under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. Aseffa Abreha, the Ethiopia Social Rehabilitation & Development Fund sponsored this important forum to provide the opportunity to share insights on what Ethiopia needs and how to help Ethiopia recover from years of war, drought, famine, and disease. The Forum also provided the opportunity to share remarkable success stories on controlling insect pests, building small-scale irrigation systems, educating people, and strengthening healthcare.

Ethio-Forum 2002 was a pivotal event in Ethiopia’s history. Throughout the two weeks of meetings, a single unifying theme emerged as the greatest concern of Ethiopia and all of sub-Sahara Africa. This region has extensive international financial aid; however, Ethiopia and sub-Sahara Africa desperately need help from people who have the expertise to identify and apply solutions to pressing problems in

This intellectual capital is the most important asset of any country. Ethiopia needs people from around the world who want to become part of the restoration of the country by helping Ethiopians to rebuild Ethiopia; essentially, a large group of well-informed people who are dedicated to community-driven poverty reduction.

At the conclusion of Ethio-Forum 2002, Dr. Getachew Tikubet, Dr. Donald C. Johnson, and Dr. David A. Blankinship met with many of the development professionals who participated in the Forum.

After extensive discussion, they drafted a description of an organization that would mobilize an autonomous international coalition of educators, scientists, entrepreneurs, and technical advisors dedicated to community-driven restorative development and poverty reduction in Ethiopia and sub-Sahara Africa. They named this group Praxis Ethiopia.

Roughly translated, “praxis” is the application of knowledge to solve problems, and “Ethiopia” serves is the primary recipient of the services. On January 25, 2002, His Excellency Dr. Aseffa Abreha lead a delegation of international development professionals who met with His Excellency Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and invited him to serve as the Patron of Praxis Ethiopia. His Excellency kindly accepted the group’s invitation and Praxis Ethiopia began that day.

Since its creation, members of the Alliance have been assisting Ethiopians to strengthen food security, improve healthcare, promote education, and facilitate simple technology transfer. The Praxis Ethiopia Foundation and The Praxis Ethiopia Alliance work in close partnership to assist Ethiopia’s restorative development. Millions of people have benefited from the on-going activities of Praxis Ethiopia.

The Board of Directors

His Excellency Dr. Aseffa Abreha

His Excellency Dr. Aseffa Abreha serves as the chairperson of the board of directors. His Excellency served as the Manager (with Rank of Minister) of the Ethiopian Social Rehabilitation and Development Fund and currently serves as Ethiopia's representative to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations in Rome, Italy.

Dr. Hans R. Herren

Dr. Hans R. HerrenDr. Hans R. Herren serves as the vice chairperson of the board of directors.

A 1995 World Food Laureate, Dr. Herren is the president of the prestigious Millennium Institute founded by President Carter.

Dr. Herren serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including co-chairing the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science & Technology, (IAASTD); chairman of BioVision, a Swiss foundation with a global mandate to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of poor people while maintaining the precious natural resource base that sustains life; president of the International Association of the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS); and member, US Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR).

Mr. Glen W. Barnard

Mr. Barnard is the Regional General Manager of the KB Home Corporation. KB Home is a multi-billion dollar housing company operating in the US and France. Mr. Barnard has day-to-day operating responsibilities for seven operating divisions accounting for $1 billion of U.S. housing sales, along with management oversight of market research and information technology. He also serves as a member of the executive group that sets strategy and policy for the company.

Mr. Barnard has a long and distinguished entrepreneurial career in U.S. business, real estate development, e-commerce applications, home security systems, and banking.

Mr. Barnard serves as the Treasurer of the Foundation.

Dr. David A. Blankinship

photograph of Dr. BlankinshipDr. Blankinship serves as the chief executive officer of Foundation and as secretary to the board of directors. His passion for working with Ethiopia began in October 2000, when he met Dr. Getachew Tikubet. The two men realized they shared an enthusiasm for “making things happen,” and since that time, they have enjoyed a close friendship.

In a distinguished career dedicated to research and project development, Blankinship has worked in clinical and research psychology, and he has served as the director of research development at the University of Northern Colorado, the associate dean for research in the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and as the director of the office of research and sponsored programs and later as dean of University Extended Education at a California State University campus. Blankinship has written and lectured extensively on research development and on the characteristics of academic excellence in education. He is also the author of a fictional work, "The Scoloderus Conspiracy" and several successful short stories that have been best sellers in anthologies on Amazon.

Dr. Nabih Badawi

Dr. Nabih Badawi is the Founder of Ideal Legal Translation & Secretarial of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He holds a Ph.D. in business administration and he has wide experience as both a manager and as an entrepreneur. Dr. Badawi has a substantial commitment to advancing higher education in the Middle East and in Ethiopia.

Dr. Badawi started his career in the United Arab Emirates as an officer of Etisalat in UAE (Telecom Corp.) in 1977 through to 1982, when he acted as an investment manager of a large group of companies in Dubai up to 1986 when he decided to establish IDEAL. IDEAL provides legal translation and secretarial services to entrepreneurs who are developing international joint ventures and other types of business undertakings. Dr. Badawi's business has developed into a leading service in Dubai.

With a professional team of his friends, Dr. Nabih Badawi established the Arab American University in Palestine and he is currently engaged in the establishment of the American University of Ethiopia (under construction in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia).

His Excellency Ambassador Beyene Negewo

The Ambassador holds a Doctorate in Public Policy and Political Science as well as in Educational Planning and International development from Stanford University in California (B.A., M.Sc., M.A., Ph.D). He has more than 25 years of a broad inter-cultural and multi-ethnic African, SE Asian/Pacific, European and North American International diverse experience. In the United States he has worked in Public Health, Social Service, Public Utilities and in Construction and Engineering Management for the City and County of San Francisco in California. He has more than 15 years of Public Policy Analysis and Project Management experience. He was also a World Bank sponsored senior Adviser to the Government of Papua New Guinea in manpower development, enhancement of Human Resources and public service system.

Dr. Getachew Tikubet

photograph of Dr. GetachewDr. Getachew Tikubet serves as a founding Director of The Praxis Ethiopia Foundation.

Dr. Getachew is President of the Yeha Natural Resource Management Academy of Eastern Africa and a scientist specializing in integrated pest management. He is also a principal scientist with the BioFarm Systems of Ethiopia and with the BioEconomy Association of Addis Ababa.

Dr. Getachew was a principal planner of Ethio-Forum 2002 and during that forum, Drs. David Blankinship, Getachew Tikubet, and Donald C. Johnson designed Praxis Ethiopia to provide technical assistance for community-driven restorative development in Ethiopia.

Dr. Getachew continues his distinguished career in both developing new approaches to solving the problems of food insecurity and in sharing these discoveries with others as a respected teacher and mentor in permaculture farming techniques. Dr. Getachew has been honored with numerous awards for his work in Ethiopia and Eastern Africa.

Dr. Getachew lives with his wife, Dr. Selamawit Assefa, their two daughters, Dina Getachew and Hermella Getachew, and their son, Ezana Getachew, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dr. Mohamed H. A. Hassan

photograph of Dr. HassanMohamed H. A. Hassan is President of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).  He is Executive Director of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Trieste, Italy, Secretary General of the Third World Network of Scientific Organizations (TWNSO) and serves on a number of committees in other organizations worldwide. He was born in the Sudan in 1947, and holds a Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from the University of Oxford, UK (1974).

A former professor and dean of the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Khartoum, he received the order of scientific merit of Brazil and the order of merit of Italy. He is a fellow of TWAS, AAS, and the Islamic Academy of Science; honorary member of the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences and the Palestine Academy of Science and Technology; corresponding member of the Belgian Royal Overseas Academy of Sciences; and foreign fellow of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences. His research areas include theoretical plasma physics, physics of wind erosion and sand transport.

The Praxis Ethiopia Foundation is an independent, US-based, 501(c)(3) publicly-supported charity created to help end extreme poverty in Ethiopia and sub-Sahara Africa