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Gashawbeza Bekele, PhD

Gashawbeza Bekele is a human geographer with research interest in development and politics in the Global South, international migration, regional economic development, and environmental and socio-economic applications of geospatial technology. His work and scholarship has focused on broadening our understanding of the relationship between international migration and development, ethnic identity politics, civil and human rights, and democratization in Africa and industrial clustering and regional economic development in the United States. He is currently working on a book project regarding demographic, security, and economic challenges in Africa and serving as the chair of the Samuel Shannon Distinguished Lecture Series and co-convener of the Annual Africa Conference at Tennessee State University.


413C Crouch Hall, (615) 963-5499,  gbekele@tnstate.edu


PhD, Geography, West Virginia University

MPhil, Development Geography, University of Oslo, Norway

BA, with very great distinction, Geography, minor in Demography, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Courses Taught

Cultural Geography, Economic Geography, Political Geography, World Regional Geography, Geography of U.S. and Canada, Geography of Africa, Principles of Geography, Geomorphology, Introduction to Africana Studies, Survey of Africa

Research Interests

Regional and international development; industrial clustering, agglomeration, regional and interregional economic analysis; spatial analysis; Geographic Information Science (GIS) and remote sensing applications in human geography; GIS and society; community planning and urban design; international migration and development; human and civil rights; identity politics in Africa

Selected Publications

“Africa in the 21st Century: The Promise of Development and Democratization” (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2019).

“Ethnic Identity Politics and the Sustenance of Africa’s Predatory State,” in Keneth Kalu, Olajumeke Yacob-Haliso, and Toyin Falola, (eds.), Africa’s ‘Big Men’: Predatory State-Society Relations in Africa, (New York, NY: Routledge, 2018, with Adebayo Oyebade).

The Long Struggle: Discourses on Human and Civil Rights in Africa and the African Diaspora, (Austin, TX: Pan-African University Press, 2017, co-edited with Adebayo Oyebade). 

“Revisiting Africa’s Brain Drain and the Diaspora Option,” in Toyin Falola and Adebayo Oyebade, (eds.), The New African Diaspora in the United States, (New York: Routledge, 2016).