My tech experience in Addis Ababa

This post is inspired by Abou Kone‘s interesting article.

I relate to all of the points he mentioned and I would like to describe my experience in the other side of Africa – East Africa.

At the beginning of January 2016, I started my journey from Berlin, Germany toAddis Ababa, Ethiopia (East Africa) to work remotely and give training to Addis Ababa University lecturers and graduating students on “Agile software development with Grails Framework” with a practical introduction to GitHub, TravisCI and Heroku including other project management tools.

The Good

I was happy to be home with my family and enjoying the light winter. It really feels good to be people who look like you and speak the same language. I was amazed by the 3G internet connection speed provided by Ethio Telecom. I had no trouble connecting to the company VPN.

Among the working spaces in Addis, I really like XHub ( They are friendly people and also provide good internet connection.

The Bad

I also faced the same challenge as you did.
I also got a subscription of 4GB internet for around 27 Dollars or 25 Euro/month. Although the connection was fast, it is very expensive compared to what I pay in Berlin (300GB internet for 19.99 Euro/month).
Plus, the internet connection at the university was very slow, we could not open github or Trello.

The knowledge gap is also very obvious and most people use C# or PHP programming languages as they are given as a course in colleges but they are not aware of frameworks or methodologies.

Even companies that claim using Agile (be it SCRUM or KANBAN) are not.

Some challenge I faced which is specific to training is some students were not motivated while the training is one of a kind (as it is practical and focusing on tools/technologies used by Silicon Valley companies and it was FREE).

I was amazed why the students did not show the expected interest. I guess the reasons could be:
1. It was given for free so they might assume it is not important.
2. They don’t really understand how important it is to use/follow methodologies, frameworks and tools and they just want to develop software they know how (and don’t want to learn and follow industry standards).
3. Maybe the students in my class are not a good sample to infer that there is less interest.

I really admire the initiative by Coders4Africa and as it is working on finding a solution to a real problem. I am happy to see the milestones achieved and I will be a contributor soon.


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