How One 20-Year-Old Techprenuer Is Disrupting Ethiopia’s Tech Industry

Written by Staff
techprenuer
Withdrawing from her software engineering course to become a “techprenuer” wasn’t always a part of 20-year-old Betelhem Dessie’s plans. Photo via Twitter

Withdrawing from her software engineering course to become a “techprenuer” wasn’t always a part of 20-year-old Betelhem Dessie’s plans. However, she stopped midway to focus on spreading the tech gospel.

“This is exclusive content!” She exclaims in her jolly nature. Her interest in technology began to grow at a very young age. It first started with the search for money to celebrate her 9th birthday in the city of Harar, in the eastern part of Ethiopia, where she grew up. 

She began working in her father’s electronics shop where she spent her time attending to his customers. She had one goal — to make enough money to spend on her upcoming birthday. 

From CGTN Africa. Story by Anastacia Waweru.

Betelhem stood out as one of the few people in the city giving services such as editing videos and copying music to phones. This is where her exciting journey in entrepreneurship began. 

Casting her initial dreams of pursuing astronomy aside, she honed her skills in technology and later moved to the capital, Addis Ababa at the tender age of 10 years.  Here, she soon discovered her life’s passion; coding, developing and innovating.

“Till this day I still want to be an astronomer but I changed my mind because the first time I actually made some money it gave me a sense of freedom. That is something I always wanted to have and that’s why I decided to be an entrepreneur.”

Upon arriving in Addis she joined a government agency known as the Information Network Security Agency. Here she worked with mentors and engaged in projects. Later in 2016, she partnered with iCog Labs, an Artificial Intelligence and robotics research and development company.

Read more at CGTN Africa.

Image Attribution: Withdrawing from her software engineering course to become a “techprenuer” wasn’t always a part of 20-year-old Betelhem Dessie’s plans. Photo via Twitter, Withdrawing from her software engineering course to become a “techprenuer” wasn’t always a part of 20-year-old Betelhem Dessie’s plans. Photo via Twitter