Berhanu obtained his degree in anthropology at the Australian National University in 2016, with his doctoral thesis examining the life strategies of small business-owners in an increasingly urbanized China.
His research interests include urbanisation, migration, mobility and pastoralism, as well as post-socialist development and cross-cultural encounters. Since 2016, Berhanu has been researching the trans-continental business network of African expatriates in China, examining the interaction of issues of religion, business, and mobility.
Berhanu’s second project focuses on the settling of pastoralists and social change in the Afar region of Ethiopia and Djibouti. His third project examines the urbanisation of the city of Addis Ababa, its rapid urban renewal, and the establishment of industrial parks and emerging labour relations. Berhanu speaks Chinese, English and basic Amharic.