Ethiopian software development training and jobs startup Gebeya has partnered the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to implement the Digital Gender-Ethiopia Programme, aimed at increasing the number of female software developers.
Gebeya aims to graduate 5,000 students in Ethiopia over the next five years. The startup also launched in Kenya in January of 2017, and has since expanded to Silicon Valley, the UK, Djibouti and Senegal.
The startup trains individuals in software development and entrepreneurship, and then helps place them in relevant jobs. It has now partnered IFC and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) to implement the Digital Gender-Ethiopia Programme, which will provide training to 250 female software developers and seed funding to 20 female entrepreneurs whose digital business ideas will be supported by Gebeya.
Selected 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.
“The project will enable the company to increase its scope beyond the current student-paid model to include a cohort of female software developers whose training will be financed through this scholarship programme,” said Amadou Daffe, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Gebeya.
“Women constitute 50 per cent of Africa’s population but only contribute 39 per cent to its Gross Domestic Product. 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 sidelines. We have to do our part to close the gender gap in technology where females are highly underrepresented.”
Gebeya will be responsible for identifying talented candidates who can benefit from the programme based on needs. The training will be conducted in four, six-month cohorts.
“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.