I grew up in Ethiopia during a very turbulent time – surrounded by serious economic hardships and socio-political upheaval – which sparked my early interest in development economics, and set me on an improbable journey to pursuing graduate studies in Economics at Berkeley. My research agenda seeks to empirically identify the causal impacts of various policy interventions and institutions on development, with emphasis on the African continent - a diverse region that is well-suited for such inquiry.  With the appointments at St. Paul's college and the Economics department at UWaterloo - the former being the home of the International Development program at the university – I aim to build a research portfolio that has some relevance to policy making for economic development in low-income regions. My research explores (among others) the likely consequences of international migration, demographic transition, representative government, and financial deepening on economic development.