Habesha in Tech guests so far & how the podcast was launched

The Disruption

COVID-19 made everything virtual. Work from home. Eat from home. Socialize from home. Everyone was looking for something to connect with their employees, friends, family … It was at this moment an exclusive app was created. It was only available on iPhone. It was only in the US.

I stumbled up on Clubhouse App in Jan 2021 here on LinkedIn. People were talking about it. It was a buzz. I downloaded the App and started waiting for someone to ‘nominate’ me to this ‘Exclusive’ club. I was able to register and start joining rooms that I was hearing about on LinkedIn.

The Inspiration

Creators like christian bourdeau πŸ“ˆ, Antoni Tzavelas, Jarrett Albritton, Nikita Gupta and others were leading rooms that I liked. These creators inspired me to explore more and improve myself. I started working on my linkedin profile which needed a whole new way of reorg. The tips shared in most of these rooms were on point. There were live job mock interviews where a candidate will be ‘grilled’ in front of everyone to help them prepare for their actual interviews, that was also very helpful for the rest of the audience.

These Clubhouse rooms helped me realised that there was no Ethiopian & Eritrean Tech talk club that holds a regular session. So I launched my club named: Habesha in Tech in April 2021. However, I was very close to cancelling the club doubting that no one will be interested to join, listen or share their experience. I am glad I didn’t delete the club.

I am glad I didn’t delete the club.

Before the Podcast

On May 5th 2021, Bef Ayenew was kind enough to be the first guest to share his tech journey with more than 50 audiences. The session was very successful. Bef’s presence was a great deal to the room as he has a club called Tech Leaders on Clubhouse. He is also the Director of Engineering for the Profile Engineering Team at LinkedIn. Unfortunately, I didn’t record the session, this makes me sad. Hopefully, in the future I will bug Bef to do it again.

My second guest was Lily Andemariam. Lily is the Founder of Product South & experienced Product Manager who is active on both LinkedIn & Clubhouse. She share us her journey and provided guidance to the audience. Her career journey & success story is inspiring and helped many from the audience. Again unfortunately, I didn’t record this session either.

Yonas Beshawred was my next guest to share us his Tech journey on our Clubhouse room. He has an amazing story. He and his team at StackShare are working to introduce new features to their clients. If you rely on feedbacks and reviews for your software development process and choice of your Dev tools, please check out StackShare and connect with Yonas Beshawred for more information. I haven’t recorded this session either, I know :(.

The next guest was Ethiopian tech celebrity. He has a TV show that he talks about Tech. I was honoured that Solomon Kassa shared his personal story towards his successful tech career. Solomon inspired so many Ethiopian youth to join the tech world. He is a senior manager at Deloitte. He is the founder & CEO of 1888EC.

He is also the author of a book called Girimte Tech(αŒαˆ­αˆα‰° α‰΄αŠ­) written in Amharic aiming to share his knowledge and reach more youth in all of Ethiopian regions who may not have access to his TV shows. Solomon was kind enough to send me his signed copy of his book. We don’t have this session’s recording on our Podcast either :(.

I also had Bemnet Yemesgen about his Tech Journey on our Habesha in Tech Club. Bemnet is a Creative Director at Discord. He has amazing career path. During our session Ebneazer Tsegaye boldly asked Bemnet Yemesgen to be his mentor. Bemnet was also open to say π—¬π—²π˜€ and accept the request to be a mentor. I was so happy that it happened during our session. Again, unfortunately the recording quality wasn’t good to be posted on our Podcast. Check out his online store:

The Launch of Habesha in Tech podcast

Having the chance to talk to such amazing Ethiopians it only make sense to have the session recorded and archive it for others who didn’t make to the event. For this reason I started to record the sessions in an acceptable quality so that anyone can listen to it anytime on any platform.

The first session to be uploaded was the session with Addis Alemayehou.  Bekure Tamirat and I were co-moderating the room. Addis moved to Ethiopia to contribute to the growing economy. He have been doing impressive work on expanding his investment portfolios: Fin-tech, telecom, communications, manufacturing, logistics, tech and more. He supports many young start up owners by guiding in ways he can. Please listen to our chat:

My co-moderator, Bekure Tamirat, was my next guest. Bekure has worked in many industries before he start to work in Tech. He also worked in a radio talk show called Tech-in-tunes on Afro FM 105.3. He is experienced educator and IT professional who worked as Developer at first but moved to IT infrastructure career path. He worked as consultant in different companies before he joined Gebeya in 2016 as Operations Director. He is currently working as Product Director.

Dawit Abraham the Founder and CEO of Qene Games. He was the youngest guest on the show. Dawit is a developer of the game called Kukulu, first of its kind in Ethiopia. His company is also known for a game called Gebeta, which is based on Ethiopian local game played for centuries on holes engraved flat stones/wood.

Markos Lemma of iceaddis is well known for co-founding a startup, iceaddis β€“ Ethiopia’s first innovation hub & tech startups incubator. The team celebrated a 10th year anniversary of their #startup. iceaddis have helped more than 160 startups. iceaddis isn’t going to be limited to Addis Ababa rather they are planning to expand to other cities in Ethiopia, icehawassa is next, and Germany and many more to come.

Mahlet Konjit-Solomon, MSIT-HIT Chief of Public Reporting and Data Release at Maryland Health Care Commission. She is also the Founder of Ethiopian Health Data, a side project to help her home country Ethiopia by developing a website and feeding #Covid19 daily cases #data and making it available for the public use. She is interested in supporting her community and collaborate on multiple other project mainly African & Ethiopian Digital Data.

 Selam Ayele Kebede is the Director of Antler in Kenya. Antler is a global early-stage venture capital firm that invests in the tech startups. Selam & I went to Bahir Dar University and completed our degree same year, 2010. Selam studied Electrical Engineering and she was also active in the University’s student clubs.

We had also a successful career talk on Cloud Computing on August 14th with two panelists:- Fukare Yimtatu & Nati Abebe. They shared us their cloud career journey and provided guidance to new joiners and anyone interested in joining cloud computing career. They also shared their insights to some of the questions from our audience.

Yodit Stanton the Founder & CEO of OpenSensors. She is a Software and Data engineer working to helping people understand their physical space. OpenSensors aggregates data from a variety of sensors for the next generation of smart Building Management Systems.

Rahel Boon-Dejene, the CEO of R&D Group. She is a person who is proud of her humble beginning and she shared us how she got into Tech. Her path to where she is now isn’t an easy one but she accomplished it through persistence and pushing the limits of her ability and breaking barriers. She wrote 68 letters to multiple companies company that rejected her. Later she became Partner with ORTECH and she helped set up a state of the art analysis center in Ethiopia. That led to the establishment of R&D Group.

We had another wonderful career talk on Data Science and Analytics career paths. The panelist (Mahlet Konjit-SolomonZeradam FantayeBereket KindoEtana Disasa & Abel Gebresilassie) are currently working in the Data Science and Analytics fields. They provided their guidance and tips on how to be successful in entering in this career paths.

Eyosias Yoseph Imana (PhD) who is currently working as Staff Modem Systems Engineer at Qualicom. His aspiration to learn and specialize in wireless communications led him to go for his PhD at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University which focused on development and implementation of flexible digital radio technologies.

Kal Kassa has been in the crypto world for a while and he is a strong advocate for the adoption of Bitcoin in a global scale. He invested in making the Bitcoin buz get into the ordinary Ethiopian who may not have access to the documents, internet and the language. He leading the effort to write an eBook so that Ethiopians can read in their own language like Amharic, Afan Oromo & others.

Goitom Seyoum, a Staff Software Engineer at Google, was very honest to share us his journey from where everything started. He is the one of first Ethiopians to attend at Maharishi International University. While at the university he used to apply for jobs but he felt like he could apply to even more companies if he could find help. So he decided to build his own automated program that search(crawl) websites for keywords he set up (such as job title, skills …). After he completed the development, he was able to apply to more companies than his fellow classmates and he was getting email & phone call responses from recruiters.

Alem Abreha, who is a Systems Engineer, with more than 10 years of experience in Infrastructure, Service Reliability Engineering, Tooling/Automation and DevOps. He is now a Lead Systems Engineer at Mulesoft (a Salesforce Company). Alem is the founder & CEO of Goodayβ„’.

On one of our session, we also talked about Blockchain & its impact in the Cyber Security space more specifically IoT Security. Our panelist are experts in their field and they shared us their point of views in this regard. Jay Jemal is a Blockchain/distributed ledger technology expert. Mr. Jemal is currently pursuing Doctor of Engineering (DEng) in Cybersecurity track at Morgan State University (MSU) CREAM Lab – with research focusing on Blockchain for IoT security. Wondimu Zegeye (D.Eng) is a Sr. Research & Development Engineer, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Post-doc fellow at Cyber Security Assurance and Policy (CAP) Center, and Adjunct Professor at Morgan State University. Hailu Kassa (D.Eng) is a research scientist at Cyber Security Assurance and Policy (CAP) Center, and Adjunct Professor at Morgan State University.

Overview of the Digital Ethiopia 2025 and Ethiopians Digital Economy strategic documents. Current progress and barriers. Concluding with insights and feedback.


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