iCog Labs Articles

Coder by age 10, software developer by 19: Meet Ethiopian teen tech entrepreneur Betelhem Dessie

By Tess Thomas

Betelhem is working to equip girls with the skills they need to work in their country’s growing tech industry.

When Betelhem Dessie’s father didn’t have time to celebrate her 9th birthday, she decided to become a tech entrepreneur and pay for a celebration herself.

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The Youngest Tech Pioneer in Ethiopia

Betelhem Dessie’s initiatives have taught 20,000 children how to code, launching Ethiopia’s next generation toward a successful future in tech, writes Thomas Lewton

Ethiopia, despite nearly 20 years of steady economic growth, still has one of the lowest GDPs per capita in the world. While the majority of the country contributes to its agriculture-based economy, growing sectors of tech-savvy youths are forging a new path.

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The city where innovation is driven By necessity

By Thomas Lewton

“I am young, ambitious and ready to transform my country, Ethiopia,” Selam Wondim announces to a conference room packed with high-profile executives and politicians in one of Addis Ababa’s most prestigious hotels. Read More

How Africa is Seizing an AI Opportunity

By Jackie Snow

Despite visa problems and limited resources, African technologists are only accelerating their research. Can they make AI work for the continent?

Tejumade Afonja was interested in artificial intelligence (AI) for years. She just wasn’t sure there was a name for it. “I didn’t know what it was called at the time,” she says.

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Ethiopia’s Long March

By Hruy Tsegaye

Towards Sustainable Tech Markets

In Ethiopia, it is customary to confuse technology as a by-product of development. Unfortunately, it is not only the average Joe or Jane who holds this erroneous belief, but most government officials and policymakers along with administrators in the public universities. Yet, technology is a tool for development.

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How AI Can Help Climate Change Combat in Africa

By Jordan Brame

As climate change intensifies across the world, impoverished nations in Africa are taking the brunt of the impact. The reality is that they are among the most ill-equipped countries in mitigating its effects. The economy of many African nations, like the majority of Third World countries, relies heavily on climate-dependent activities such as farming and tourism. This reflects the historical inequity between developed and developing countries, which magnifies the impact of climate change on the latter.

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Optimism amid challenges for IT innovators in Ethiopia

By Brook Abdu

They are in their early twenties and passionate about technology. They say they would love to invent from day in, day out; a dream they crave to live. Rediet Berhanu, Yonas Woldegebriel, and Nebiyu Ahmed were competing in ‘Solve It!’ IT competition challenge organized by the US Embassy in Addis Ababa in partnership with iCog Labs and Humanity Plus.

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Journey to Paris: Afrobytes and the Rise of African Industry

By Hruy Tsegaye

When one is travelling to Paris for business, in one of the high tourist months, there isn’t much to write about the wonderful city. In a foolish attempt to cover all the attractions, you will run like a crazy dog yet unfortunately Paris is not just big, Paris is just like ‘Quanta Firfir’ hiding countless good stuff behind her common veil. Eventually, the business traveller will give up settling on the common sites. I was the very same business traveller who gave up after The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles and Le Marias.

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Ethiopia’s tech startups are confident change is coming at just the right time

By Yinka Adegoke

Word that Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed is looking to loosen his country’s tight grip on strategic assets like its fast-growing airline and its long-term telecom monopoly has sparked interest from international investors and regional corporations.

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In Artificial Intelligence, Young Ethiopians Eye a Fertile Future

By: Thomas Lewton and Alice McCool

I DON’T think Homo sapiens-type people will exist in 10 or 20 years’ time,” Getnet Assefa, 31, speculates as he gazes into the reconstructed eye sockets of Lucy, one of the oldest and most famous hominid skeletons known, at the National Museum of Ethiopia. “Slowly the biological species will disappear and then we will become a fully synthetic species,” Assefa says.

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