Over these past few years a lot of young Africans have emerged and are doing extraordinary things in their various countries and around the world. They are breaking barriers in fashion, music, sports, media and entertainment, politics, business, technology, Charity and CSR, and other various areas in the world, Betelhem Dessie is one of those young Africans. She is a tech entrepreneur; founder and CEO of iCog, Anyone Can Code (ACC).
Born in 1999 in Harar, Ethiopia, Betelhem has been a tech entrepreneur since she was 9 years old. The 20 year old is a founder and CEO of iCog- Anyone Can Code (ACC).
When she was only 9 years old, she asked her father, who is a major supporter of her ambition for money to celebrate her birthday, but he was too busy, so she decided to edit videos, send music and video files to customers at her father’s computer shop where she made up to 1600 Ethiopian Birr.
Surrounded by the computers in her father’s shop, it’s not a surprise that her love and interest for computer technology grew rapidly. At age 10, she and her family moved to Addis Ababa. Her skills in video editing, cellphone software installation and computer maintenance had improved so much that she even started tutoring her classmates and friends in computer skills.
Betelhem started coding professionally at age 12, she got great recognition for her work in her community by the government of her country, she was employed by the Ethiopian Information Network Security Agency ( INSA) as a developer for the government from 2011 to 2012.
Interestingly, Betelhem never finished university, she stopped in her 3rd year as a software engineering student to focus on her ambition.She currently owns four patented projects individually and an additional three in collaboration such as SOLVE IT and iCog- Anyone Can Code.
Today, Betelhem works with young people to find technological solutions to community-based problems and she also teaches other young people between the ages of 8 to 18 the basics of Artificial intelligence, she also wants women and people of African decent fully involved in AI and robotics.
Betelhem was named “the youngest pioneer in Ethiopia’s fast emerging tech scene” by CNN.