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MA Law and Sustainable Development

December 14, 2013

I have built my life around two principles: fairness and justice. Born an Ethiopian, and exposed to rampant poverty and social and economic injustice early in life, I learned the value of these principles first-hand. I then tried to find ways to apply these principles to improving the lot of the people around me. This led me to the study of social and economic development and the way that they are guided by our legal systems. My professional purpose at this point is to study health law and to become a critical thinker and social activist for progressive causes in this area.  I gained a vast understanding of legal systems while pursuing my BA degree in Law. I learned about global development policies and discovered the complex links between economics, public health, and the environment. My professional purpose in life therefore, is to work very hard towards helping to develop the legal framework and tools that will be necessary to help to improve the public health systems of Africa, particularly my native Ethiopia.

 I underwent training in Swaziland, South Africa, and also spent time in Angola and in other parts of South Africa as part of a work-study tour. The experience helped to further enrich my understanding of the many challenges facing health care systems in Africa, as I got to meet people from diverse backgrounds and was able to observe myriad practical problems in public health as well as numerous attempts to resolve them through the legal system.   

 At Ethiopia’s Ministry of Capacity, I spent six long years working as an attorney and later as head of legal services; this helped me to radically enhance and refine my legal skills and understanding. I drafted government policies and laws, including the new civil service law, along with many other new rules and regulations. I understood the implications that my work had on multitudes of people, and paid stringent attention to each line, each word, and each turn of phrase. This experience taught me to more fully appreciate the complexity of human nature and its relationship to legal structures. I also drafted a variety of bilateral and multilateral agreements, and legal documents for government organizations that included contract documents, charges, laws and rules, and policy frameworks. My work was very much appreciated and I was made head of the legal service Business Process Reengineering Team where I served as legal advisor to  state ministers. In addition to discharging these myriad responsibilities, I sought to increase the quality and accessibility of the legal unit; I established a legal shop to inform and educate employees and managers about the laws and directives of the Ethiopian civil service.

 I realized early in my student life that, as a global citizen, I needed to expand my awareness about the world and develop a global outlook and effective communication skills. So I enrolled in a BA program in Literature which helped to lay the foundation for my development of a multi-dimensional perspectives and increasingly effective communication skills. I want to devote myself to the service of the Ethiopian people through my work as a legal researcher, advocate, and advisor. This is why I hope to be admitted to your highly esteemed MA Program in Law and International Sustainable Development, with a special focus on health insurance law. 

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