Many years ago Coders4Africa (C4A) took on the challenge to produce more African software developers and have now launched Gebaya a developer marketplace for talent in Africa.
In April 2016, Amadou Daffe, the CEO and co-founder of C4A and a native of Senegal, travelled to Silicon Valley to find investors interested in scaling C4A into an aggressive, Pan-African startup. Only Hiruy Amanuel, a young investor and self-made entrepreneur of Ethiopian origin, stood out.
“We were brainstorming on how we could contribute to Africa’s destiny—Hiruy as an investor and I as a technologist. Hiruy mentioned that he had always wanted to build a school in Ethiopia. Being from Silicon Valley, it took me literally five minutes to sell him on why a software engineering academy coupled with a platform that would match graduates with clients would be extremely valuable in Ethiopia and duplicable across other African countries,” said Amadou.
The concept was initially dubbed “DaaS” (Developer as a Service) before its name was changed to “Gebeya,” which means “marketplace” in Amharic. Gebeya was born as an extension of C4A in Ethiopia, with offices in Kenya and the USA.
We are launching the IT Academy Training program in Ethiopia, which has a population of nearly 100 million, of which 75% are youth. Our strategy is to make Ethiopia the headquarters for the IT Academy Training hub and graduate approximately 5,000 students in the next five years. The training will begin in mid-September 2016. We will begin accepting applications from candidates in July 2016 and will offer partial and full scholarships to selected individuals.
“Gebeya’s marketing team will be based in Kenya, as it has one of the highest demands for software developers in Africa and is home to the African headquarters of many Fortune 500 companies. This provides opportunities to accelerate customer acquisition and because the distribution channel is an online marketplace, we will reach IT professionals throughout the continent.”
“Our purpose is to develop African IT talent while providing an online IT services marketplace for the African and global business market. We also seek to expand our students’ IT skills, eliminate tech hardware and software needs for our clients, increase opportunities for African IT professionals, and reduce IT developmental and operational costs so more Africans can utilize these services. Africa may have missed the Industrial Revolution, but its youth have no intention of missing the digital one.”