Gebeya and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group through the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), today signed a $500,000 advisory services agreement to implement the Digital Gender-Ethiopia Program. It aims to increase the number of female software developers.
The project will provide training to 250 female software developers and 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 $50,000—to support mentorship programs from globally recognized digital entrepreneurs.
Gebeya seeks to address the challenges African women face in receiving quality instruction in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The initiative by IFC and Gebeya will play a critical role in advancing these efforts.
Amadou Daffe, CEO and Co-founder, Gebeya said: “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 program.” He added, “African women constitute 50 percent of Africa’s population but only contribute 39 percent 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 program 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, IFC Gender Secretariat.
Since its establishment, Gebeya has grown rapidly, helping graduate over 400 candidates from its training programs, placing 140 graduate professionals on its IT skills marketplace, generating significant client orders through its platform every month. Gebeya is currently incubating three companies, two of which are founded or co-founded by women and are almost coming to the end of their program.
The first phase of the Digital Gender-Ethiopia Program will be funded by the IFC Creating Markets Advisory Window and the second will be funded by We-Fi.