Ethiopian 19 Year Old Tech-Prodigy is Smashing Glass Ceilings
Betelhem Dessie is a young woman on a mission; an African disruptor with no respect for society’s glass ceilings. A self-taught coder, she is leading the charge to get more young Ethiopian women coding.
Betelhem Dessie is a young woman with no respect for societal expectations and limitations. Her path to the big time is relatable yet still impressive.
Ten years ago, her story began with an innocent request. She says, “On my 9th birthday I wanted to celebrate so I asked my father for money.”
Her father gave a reply African kids understand all too well: he did not have the money.
In the end, she says, “I got about 90 dollars – then I celebrated my birthday.” It was the beginning of her love affair with electronics. Dessie’s father sold electronics in Harar, Ethiopia and she simply plugged herself into the system and started learning.
She worked on herself and improved her skills until she became the force she is now. She says, “I learned informally because I wasn’t able to get classes in coding where I was raised in Harar.” Is there anything not impressive about this self-taught genius?
CNN says she is probably the youngest player in Ethiopia’s growing Sheba Valley, the country’s answer to Silicon Valley. This is Africa says she is running, “…five projects and has obtained seven patents; four of the patents are privately owned by her, while the remaining three are in collaboration with other organizations. One of Dessie’s project, Anyone Can Code (ACC) is in collaboration with iCog Labs.”
She has also been active in helping young girls learn to code
This is a young woman on a mission and the world is simply not ready for her