School Directors


My name is Mesfin Atlaye. I’m an Ethiopian national, a Canadian citizen, academic, and a visionary. In the fall of 2012, my wife and our five children relocated from London Ontario to Awassa, Ethiopia for the purpose of opening a school. For some time, it has been my desire to return to Ethiopia and contribute to the social and economic development of my homeland.

I left Ethiopia in 1985 when I was still a teenager. Like thousands of Ethiopians, I left my homeland and fled to the neighboring country Kenya, seeking asylum and freedom. Through a UNHCR settlement program and through a college scholarship I immigrated to Canada in 1988 and made Canada my home for almost three decades. I obtained all my higher education - from undergrad to advanced degrees - from Canadian universities.

The seventies and eighties were the most turbulent years in Ethiopian history because of the political havoc that the oppressive communist military regime unleashed on opposition forces and on intellectuals. The infamous military junta mowed down Ethiopia's brightest-and-best. As a result the country, like all African countries under dictators, suffered an immeasurable level of brain-drain. That realization has always been at the back of my mind. I was convinced that only quality education could reverse the tragedy of the brain-drain and to mitigate poverty. I promised myself to make education my priority and to give it to those who cannot afford it.

In 2007 I made a visit of Addis Ababa and Awassa and what I had observed then made it very clear to me that I must move back to Ethiopia. It took me another five years to prepare myself and my family. We are here now and also Panafric International Academy is growing and serving several children from destitute families whose children would not otherwise become educated. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.



Abebayehu’s credentials are impressive as an educator. He is committed, experienced and well- qualified as Academic Director of Panafric International Academy.