At the Center of the World In Ethiopia by S. W. Omamo

Nairobi Bestsellers

At the Center of the World In Ethiopia by S. W. Omamo

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KShs1,500.00 KShs1,300.00

This is a non-fiction book set in contemporary Ethiopia describing major aspects of the humanitarian and development work in a huge and hugely important African country. Major global themes and issues play out in the cut and thrust of the day to day work of the narrator, a senior UN official leading a major operation in the country.

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A gripping tale leadership at the human and development frontline in Africa.


“This unflinching book is one window for viewing the subjectivity of humanitarianism. The conversations, descriptions, and actions in this small book show how serving humanity is warped and undermined in expected and sometimes unexpected ways. The book is also a door. It invites “international community” actors to do better.”

“This is exceptional. If you’re interested in contemporary Africa, if you’re interested in economic growth and development, if you’re interested in history as it is made, I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did.”

“It’s very well written as well, and because it is well written, it is well thought out. And it is short: better to write succinctly over 100 or so pages than to spin out the messages over 300 pages.”

“A note resounds throughout the book. It is Africa, real Africa, it is changing Africa, where people strive for a better future — where many are doing far better than some outsiders like to think. Yes, there are crises, tragically recurrent crises: you can read about them every week in any world newspaper. But there is progress… and much cause for hope. The author sets this out for Ethiopia, but we could add similar stories from all over the continent; stories that cause us to hope, and to think how better to assist, to work.. alongside those who are working hard for a better future.”

“This book hits all of the sweet and sour spots of crisis management by international organizations. It is both balanced and insightful and not afraid to call out the diversity failings ingrained in the system. It also applauds the difficult and dangerous everyday work of the mission focused staff in these organizations. Well done.”

“The flow of the story is intense – it captures realities that are in most cases discarded.”

“A required read for international organization & development studies scholarship & research. I wish I’d had this resource when I taught courses in International Organizations.”

“ Excellent book on the UN and the international relations in Ethiopia. Well analysed and illustrated book about a genuine and powerful personal and professional experience of leadership in a highly complex humanitarian and political environment. Sharing his own inner vision of institutionalized racism and challenges faced in his UN agency.”

“Insightful book by a great principled leader.”

About the Author: S. W. Omamo is CEO of New Growth International ( ( He has published numerous books and articles. Two books, Private Solutions – A Tale of Political Awakening and Coming-of-Age (1999) and The Men Do Not Eat Wings (2004), were also published by Richardson-Omamo Books.

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