Competence Modelling for Export Performance Improvement in Ethiopia

Worku Birru


In November 2011, Worku Birru started his PhD-project entitled ‘Competence Modelling for Export Performance Improvement in Ethiopia’. His research belongs to the category of ‘Competence for sustainable development (including social learning and transformative learning)’.


Worku was born in 1976 in Ethiopia. He has earned his BSc in Marketing and Sales Management from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and MBA in Small and Medium Enterprise Development from University of Leipzig, Germany. He has worked as a branch manager in one of the largest Microfinance institutions in Ethiopia. Up until he came to Wageningen for his PhD study, he has been working for Center for Rural Development Studies, College of Development Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia with academic rank of Lecturer.


Export is increasingly seen as an important route for entrepreneurial firms to realize their growth potential. However, many firms from developing countries do not dare to internationalize due to a perceived lack of competence. Moreover, companies that do engage in exporting activities often perform poorly, in part because of a failure to identify  prioritize and develop the required competencies for sustained export. To gain more insight into the relationship between export and competencies in developing countries, Worku Birru is working on competence modelling, using extant literature, experts’ validation, and survey research with Ethiopian exporting firms.

Project team

Specific Studies


1.  Worku Tuffa Birru (2013). A review of “Food tourism in protected areas – sustainability for producers, the environment and tourism?” The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension Volume 19, Issue 5, Special Issue: Gender Inequality and Agricultural Extension

2.  Worku Tuffa Birru (2012). A review of “The gender implications of large-scale land deals”. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 18(5), 541-542.

3.  Worku Tuffa Birru (2012). A review of “The Perceived Benefits of Agritourism: The Provider’s Perspective” The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 18(3), 301-302.

4.  Worku Tuffa Birru (2012). A review of “Conservation Agriculture and Livelihoods of Smallholder Farmers in Central Mozambique,  The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension 18(2), 191-193.

5.  Worku Tuffa Birru (2011). Horizontal inter-firm cooperation in Ethiopian small and medium enterprises: evidence from leather shoe manufacturing firms in Addis Ababa. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 18(4), 806-820.

6.  Shimelis Admassu and Worku Tuffa Birru (2011).  Consumer Attitudes, Market Potential, and Microbiological Analysis of Kefir: Implication for Dairy Diversification in Ethiopia. East African Journal of Sciences, Vol. 5. No. 2

7.  Worku Tuffa Birru (2009). Sustainable Business Development Service for Microfinance. 10th Anniversary of Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions, “Microfinance Scale-up in Ethiopia Challenges Ahead and the Way Forward