Betelhem Dessie is a tech genius taking “Sheba Valley”—Ethiopia’s Silicon Valley—by storm.
At only 19-years-old, she is leading programs at iCog Labs, Ethiopia’s first artificial intelligence lab, and has several software programs patents to her name.
Dessie writes on her LinkedIn page that she’s been coding since the age of 10 and has an interest in leveraging simple, yet effective tools to help problem solve.
As a project coordinator at iCog Labs, Dessie manages programs such as “Solve IT” a national innovation competition sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa teaching young people about tech entrepreneurship.
Dessie has been with iCog Labs where she also leads “Anyone Can Code”, another project teaching students about artificial intelligence robotics, and coding among other technologies.
iCog Labs participated in developing Sophia, the world-renowned human-like robot. The AI firm was founded in 2013 to provide research and development services including Bioinformatics research, machine learning analysis, and app development.
The artificial intelligence innovator is currently seeking funding for a new project called “The Sophia School Bus,” a traveling bus she hopes will inspire young Africans to code, especially girls she tells CNN.