Open main menu

Jamaicans in Ethiopia

Jamaican Ethiopians comprise Jamaican emigrants and expatriates residing in Ethiopia.

Jamaicans in Ethiopia
Jamaican Rastas in Ethiopia.jpg
Jamaican Rastas in Ethiopia
Total population
various estimates
Regions with significant populations
(various estimates)
Rastafari · Tewahedo
Related ethnic groups
Jamaican diaspora

Migration historyEdit

The settlement in Shashamane traces its roots to the 1948 Shashamane Land Grant by Emperor Haile Selassie I to members of the Ethiopian World Federation in gratitude for their defence of Ethiopia during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. Most of the initial settlers who took advantage of this offer were African American, but Jamaicans began coming in the 1960s.[1] They quickly came to form a notable presence in the Shashamane settlement, earning it the nickname "Little Jamaica".[2]

By 2001, roughly 200 families of Rastafarians lived at Shashamane.[3] However, a 2011 fact-finding mission by Steven Golding of the Universal Negro Improvement Association's Kingston branch discovered that there has been ongoing confusion over land title among later migrants, particularly because Ethiopian policy no longer permits the alienation of land to foreign citizens.[4] Furthermore, as Ethiopian nationality law does not incorporate the concept of jus soli, the children of Jamaicans living in Ethiopia are not citizens of the country and cannot access certain public services reserved for citizens. The Jamaican diaspora in Ethiopia have pressed the Jamaican government to establish an embassy in Addis Ababa in order to represent their concerns more effectively to the Ethiopian government; as of 2010, Jamaica was represented in Ethiopia solely by an honorary consul.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bonacci, Giulia (Summer 2011), "An Interview in Zion: The Life-History of a Jamaican Rastafarian in Shashemene, Ethiopia", Callaloo, 34 (4), doi:10.1353/cal.2011.0187
  2. ^ Pink, Patrina (2010-06-18), "Jamaican Rastas Bring Cultural Diversity To 'Promised Land'", Jamaica Gleaner, retrieved 2013-03-11
  3. ^ Bhalla, Nita (2001-11-05), "The town that Rastafarians built", BBC News, retrieved 2013-03-11
  4. ^ Walters, Basil (2011-10-02), "Ethiopia land dream shattered", Jamaica Observer, retrieved 2013-03-11
  5. ^ Campbell, Edmond (2010-03-12), "Rastafarians Want Embassy In Ethiopia", Jamaica Glenaer, retrieved 2013-03-11

Further readingEdit