In June 2019 alone, the Ethiopian government shutdown Internet access in the country twice. First, the populace was cut off from the rest of the world during a national examination in the country in order to prevent examination malpractice. The second time, top government officials were assassinated and the government pulled the plug.

June wasn’t the first time Internet was cut off in the East African country and each time, hundreds of thousands of Internet-reliant businesses were affected and lost millions of dollars.

Though this appears to be a hostile environment for Internet companies but for Amadou Daffe it’s the perfect ground for a resilient business.

Amadou is the CEO and co-founder of Gebeya — an Ethiopian-based Pan-African EdTech startup — who saw the vast opportunity when he first visited Ethiopia in 2014 for a developers conference after which he quit his job in the United States and moved to Ethiopia in 2016.

Gebeya is not so bothered about the recurrent Internet shutdown in the country.

“I know it’s bad but it allows you to do two things as a business. One, it allows you to become resilient; whatever happens, you will still be able to survive. Second, it allows you to think of what to do next,” he says.

As of 2015, African youth accounted for 19% of the global youth population. The EdTech startup identified technology as the only way Africans can become competitive, considering that the barrier to entry is really low.

“All you need is your brain, a laptop and Internet,” Amadou says.

Back in 2016, Gebeya set out on a mission to get African youth to develop technology skills through training — turning African youth into technology specialists and linking them to possible employers. Gebeya sees itself as a talent infrastructure company building a pipeline of technology talents on the continent.

The startup is training interested people in mobile application engineering, front-end and back-end application engineering, blockchain, AI, IoT, and UI/UX, among others. Having an IT background is not a prerequisite for these training programmes. In addition to allowing people to choose their preferred course(s), recommendations are made based on people’s capabilities…

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