Dr Tadesse is a Researcher at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology and co-investigator on a project funded by the Christensen Fund on the social and cultural significance of enset (ensete ventricosum; Abyssinian banana) in the south-western highlands of Ethiopia. He is also associated with the African Studies Center, Oxford. Dr Tadesse has several years of field experience as an ethnographer among southern Ethiopian pastoralists and cultivators of the Omotic area as well as pastoralists around Lake Chew Bahir (Lake Stephanie).
In 2006 he was initiated as elder (huduga) in his native community of dere Chencha in Gamo, where his current research activities are based. He is also a board member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Assistance Facility (IPAF) at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome and has served on other boards such as Dir Biyabir in California and Porini Association in Kenya.
Dr Tadesse has written on issues such as economic and bond-friendship networks in southwestern Ethiopia as well as the role of warfare in inter-group relations. With his former colleague Professor Thomas Widlok he edited a two-volume book on property relations while at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. He then joined the African Rift Valley Programme of the Christensen Fund in California as Program Officer, where he spent more than ten years planning and making grants for projects that contributed to biocultural diversity in the region. More recently he has led a team evaluating a DFID funded project in Ethiopia implemented by Send A Cow UK and its partners. Prior to his PhD training in Social Anthropology at the LSE, he worked as a Lexicographer of Omotic Languages in the Academy of Ethiopian Languages as well as working in various roles in the Ethiopian Ministry of Culture. He is fluent in Gamo and Wolaita dialects, and in written and spoken Amharic.
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2014 ‘Friendship Networks in Southwestern Ethiopia’ in Friendship, Descent and Alliance in Africa, Anthropological Perspectives. With Martine Guichard, (Eds.) Martine Guichard, Tilo Gratz & Youssouf Diallo. Oxford: Berghahn
2009 ‘We Have Been Sold’ in Competing with the State and dealing with Others. Changing Identifications and Alliances in North-East Africa. Volume 2. (Eds.) Gunther Schlee & Elizabeth E. Watson. Oxford: Berghahn
2006 ‘Having friends everywhere’ in The Perils of Face: essays on cultural contact, respect and self-esteem in southern Ethiopia. (Eds.) Ivo Strecker & Jean Lydall. Munster: Lit Verlag
2005 ‘The persistence of Multiple-Religious Ceremonies in South West Ethiopia’ in The Qualities of Time: Anthropological Approaches. (Eds.) Wendy James & David Mills. Oxford: Berg Publishers
2005 Property and Equality: Ritualization, Sharing, Egalitarianism. Volume I. Thomas Widlok and Wolde Gossa Tadesse (eds.). Oxford: Berghahn
2005 Property and Equality: Encapsulation, Commercialization, Discrimination. Volume II. Wolde Gossa Tadesse and Thomas Widlok (eds.). Oxford: Berghahn
2005 ‘Entering Cattle Gates: Trade, Bond Friendship and Group Interdependence’ in Northeast African Studies Volume 7, Number 3, Pp.119-162
2003 ‘The Postsocialist Agrarian Situation in Southern Ethiopia’ in The Post Socialist Agrarian Question: Property Relations and the Rural Condition, (Eds.) Chris Hann and the ‘Property Relations’ Group. Munster: Lit Verlag
2002 ‘Evading the Revolutionary State’ in: Remapping Ethiopia, (Eds.) W. James, D. L. Donham, E. Kurimoto and A. Triulzi. Oxford: James Currey
2001 ‘Property and Age Organization among an East African Pastoralist Group’ in: Revista de Antropologia, Vol. 44 n°1, University of Sao Paulo, Pp.149-184.
1997 ‘Kalashnikovs and Cowrie Belts’ in Ethiopia in Broader Perspective: Papers of the Xlllth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, Vol. XII (Eds) Katsuyoshi Fukui, Eisei Kurimoto and Masayoshi Shigeta. Kyoto: Shokado Booksellers.