A common problem confronting bird and habitat conservation is the contrast between the meticulous deliberations of conservation planners and the outcome of proposed preservation measures for priority sites on the ground. This contrast is perhaps most striking among the developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Here chance events and political developments often determine the preservation prospects at such sites. The disparity between conservation aspirations and reality has numerous causes; chief among these is the scarcity of effective and active conservationists from the nations concerned. These are the people who will be listened to as lobbyists of decision-makers at local and national level. Inevitably they are African nationals. Through the efforts of both Council and individual members of the ABC, usually in assistance to BirdLife International, the Club has sought to assist and collaborate with Africa's tiny but fast-emerging community of resident conservationists. This article introduces one such colleague, Anteneh Shimelis, a valued ABC collaborator from Ethiopia.