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  1. Adrian J Wills1,
  2. Abenet T Mengesha2
  1. 1Consultant Neurologist, Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Consultant Neurologist, Black Lion Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  1. Correspondence to Dr A J Wills, Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK; adrian.wills{at}

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“Yo Adrian, didn't know you was a Rasta man!” (comment of AJW's boxing coach when told he was going to Ethiopia).

In January 2010, one of the co-authors of this article (AJW) was invited by the other (ATM) to visit Ethiopia and experience African neurology at first hand. AJW didn't see many Rastafarians (Rastafarians believe that the former Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, was God incarnate (his precoronation name was Ras (Duke) Tafari (Makonnen)) and that he was a direct descendant of Solomon) in Ethiopia during the 2 weeks he spent there, but was privileged to meet many extremely kind and friendly people who are justifiably proud of their heritage.

Ethiopia covers an area of 1.1 million km2 and straddles the Horn of Africa, bordered by Sudan to the west, Eritrea to the north, Djibouti and Somalia to the east and Kenya to the south. The Ethiopian highlands cover much of the centre of the country, and the capital, Addis Ababa, is at 2500 m altitude. The population is 85 million (increasing rapidly) and predominantly living in rural areas (85%). The per capita income is only £500 (2003 figure) compared with the UK average of around £20 000. The main exports include coffee (very good!), leather and hide, oil, seeds, beeswax and sugar. Ethiopia is home to varied fauna and flora, including many species of …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.

  • Competing interests None.

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