Ethiopian Entrepreneur Awarded for App That Helps Refugees Find Work

An Ethiopian digital app inventor has been given a prestigious award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for creating an application designed to link refugees with employers.

Last week in New York, Eden Tadesse accepted a Goalkeepers Global Goals Award at a ceremony attended by Kenyan President William Ruto, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Bill and Melinda Gates, among others.

Eden was given the award for her digital app Invicta, which connects refugees seeking jobs with employers. Invicta is credited with helping 2,500 refugees find employment, most of them in Africa and the Middle East.

Through the app, 7,000 refugees have been able to continue their education by completing online courses.

Mohammad Jamalaldeen, who left his hometown of Khartoum following the outbreak of war in Sudan, used Invicta to find work with a company in his profession of software and web development.

“She told me that I could look into working as a software engineer and has been actively searching for opportunities for me,” Jamalaldeen said. “Every member of Invicta has been so friendly towards me.”

Refugees or internally displaced people register with Invicta by filling out a form. The applications are assessed by a team, and selected candidates are trained and introduced to companies looking to fill positions.

Eden said she came up with Invicta after her work supporting education at a refugee camp.

“Once I arrived, I saw that refugees were incredibly talented and hardworking, and what they really needed was access to labor markets,” she said. “So that’s what I wanted to do and wanted to help with.”

The Goalkeepers Initiative is a campaign at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that promotes progress toward U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

Blessing Omakwu, who leads the Goalkeepers Initiative, said the aim is to highlight people who are doing amazing work and to showcase progress.

“That’s our goal, is for people to come here and know that the work that you do, are doing, is seen and matters, is valuable and is accelerating progress,” Omakwu said. “So first, it’s really a source of inspiring the people who are doing the work with those we award.”

For Eden, the honor also brought a personal reward — a prize of $20,000.

Posted in eNews.
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