“With cities like Cape Town, Nairobi, Lagos, Accra, Cairo, Dakar, and Addis Ababa full of rising tech stars, how was it that the second-largest continent on Earth remained overlooked?” According to Amadou Daffe, this was the conundrum that befuddled him in 2016 and led him to co-found Gebeya, an Ethiopia-headquartered global talent marketplace solely focused on African tech professionals. “The initial spark for Gebeya thus came from seeing Africa’s enormous tech talent pool contrasted with the high global demand for skills,” Daffe recalls. “When my co-founder Hiruy Amanuel and I first started Gebeya, our focus was primarily on building capacity through upskilling, as many software developers as possible in Africa. Since then, we have worked with the likes of Microsoft, Safaricom, Amazon Web Services, and more to develop and implement upskilling programs, thereby empowering thousands of developers across Africa.”

Perhaps one of the most large-scale projects that Gebeya has undertaken with the aforementioned tech giants is the one with Microsoft. Indeed, in June 2020, through an agreement signed wit the US-headquartered multinational technology corporation, Gebeya launched an initiative to upskill 300,000 software developers across 10 African countries. “Gebeya eventually evolved into a software as a service (SaaS) marketplace aiming to accelerate the gig economy for Africans everywhere,” Daffe continues. “Today, Gebeya is a global platform connecting highly skilled tech talents from Africa directly with opportunities worldwide. Over the past seven years, the company has grown to become deployed in over 30 African countries, and yes, we’ve had a lot of success. This year we even signed a US$48 million partnership with Mastercard Foundation to launch a social impact project called Mesirat. The program aims to create one million job opportunities for gig workers in Ethiopia over the next five years, offering resources and support to 100 creative business owners.”

With teams also based in Kenya, Senegal, and the US, Gebeya has thus been able to cement its position as a SaaS-enabled pan-African talent marketplace. But Daffe’s pursuits in creating an equitable ecosystem for African tech entrepreneurs didn’t end there. Eventually, his efforts to go beyond Africa found favor in the UAE- Dubai, to be more specific, having found support from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit government entity that supports businesses based in the Emirate. And it was a decision that Daffe says felt like a natural extension of Gebeya’s underlying vision. “We now have three goals with our entry into Dubai with support from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce,” Daffe declares. “Firstly, our goal is to build a strong talent pool specifically addressing the UAE’s needs, and build pipelines to bring in skilled tech professionals from countries all over Africa. Secondly, in parallel, we aim to forge strategic partnerships with those who equally have the future of the tech ecosystem in mind. Thirdly, we aim to contribute to the growth of the UAE’s tech sector, and support both innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives.”…

Content retrieved from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/en-ae/growth-strategies/beyond-boundaries-ethiopia-headquartered-gebeya-is-making/463936.


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