IFC funds Ethiopian ed-tech startup Gebeya to train 250 female developers

Image: Disrupt Africa

ETHIOPIA – Ethiopian ed-tech and job placement startup Gebeya has signed a US$500,000 advisory services agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to implement the Digital Gender-Ethiopia Programme aimed at solving the issues of gender disparity in the areas of technology and innovation.

Gebeya focuses on cultivating the untapped tech potential of African youth to prepare them for the demands of the global market, training young people with technical skills and assisting them secure employment.

The startup has now signed an agreement with the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, through the Women Entrepreneurs Finance (We-Fi) Initiative, to train 250 female software developers and provide seed funding to 20 female entrepreneurs whose digital business ideas will be supported by Gebeya.

The entrepreneurs will receive technical and strategic guidance on business development from Gebeya alongside advisory services from IFC worth US$50,000 to support mentorship programmes from globally recognised digital entrepreneurs.

“IFC is committed to helping women find opportunities through skills development that lead to good-paying jobs. Gebeya’s training differs from others in the market through its blended curriculum that includes basic and advanced programming and real-world, job-readiness skills”

Henriette Kolb, Manager, IFC Gender Secretariat

Gebeya will be responsible for identifying talented candidates who can benefit from the programme based on needs.

“This commitment by the IFC in Ethiopia will allow us to prioritise women developers across our collective training modules and quickly mobilise them for the growing global demand,” said Hiruy Amanuel, co-founder of Gebeya.

The company’s chief executive officer (CEO) Amadou Daffe said the project would enable Gebeya to increase its scope beyond the current student-paid model to include a cohort of female software developers.

“African women constitute 50 per cent of Africa’s population but only contribute 39 percent to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is a result of their inability to afford tuition, societal misconception around women and career ability, inadequate familial support as well as gender stereotypes. We can no longer stand back and watch as intelligent, capable African women are pushed to the side-lines. We have to do our part to close the gender gap in technology where females are highly underrepresented,” he said.

“IFC is committed to helping women find opportunities through skills development that lead to good-paying jobs. Gebeya’s training differs from others in the market through its blended curriculum that includes basic and advanced programming and real-world, job-readiness skills,” said Henriette Kolb, manager of the IFC Gender Secretariat.

According to a study by carried by UNICEF, based on Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) data 2000-2016, Ethiopia has made significant progress on several dimensions of gender equality and women’s empowerment although disparities between rural and urban areas and across regions have persisted.  Progress also remains slow on women’s educational, economic, and inter-personal/familial empowerment.

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