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International exchange

Studying in Germany helped to tackle Ethiopian problems

by Abdou Rahime Diallo

In brief

Eskinder Mamo (right) and Amanuel Abrah founded AhadooTec ICT Solutions in Addis Ababa.

Eskinder Mamo (right) and Amanuel Abrah founded AhadooTec ICT Solutions in Addis Ababa.

In 2013 Eskinder Mamo and Amanuel Abrah founded AhadooTec ICT Solutions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. Both are graduates of German universities. As students, they had been active in community work and were among those who founded the Ethiopian Student and Alumni Association Germany (ESAAG), which has since become the largest association of Ethiopians in the country.

The particular strength of Ahadoo is to tackle social needs with innovative technical solutions. The first project was to create a platform for high-school and college students in Ethiopia, allowing the target group to access courses, check out up-to-date learning material and form virtual learning groups and e-Learning-teams.

“With our mobile phone application we reached four hundred schools in the first step”, Eskinder reports. “In the second phase, we are targeting 1,000 schools.” To use the app, one needs a large-screen mobile phone of the kind that is manufactured in China. The devices do not cost much money.

Ahadoos second major project is even more ambitious. Ahadoo has convinced the World Bank to finance an innovative scheme that will use a web-based mobile platform for farmers and agro-business entrepreneurs. The idea is to provide them with information on cultivation methods, climate and weather, pest warnings and other information they need to make the most of their business. Ahadoo is facing huge challenges, however, including massive bureaucracy, poor infrastructure and a weak internet. The company’s founders appreciate, however, that Ethiopian regulations make it easy for ex-pats to come home and start a business.

Currently, Ahadoo employs 12 people including seven at fulltime, three at part-time jobs and the two founders. In the next two years, Ahadoo expects to expand and create more jobs, both in Ethiopia and Germany, where a software and programming service office is about to be established. (ard)

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