iCog Labs is a research and development company based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, collaborating with international artificial intelligence research groups and serving customers around the world. iCog Labs specialises in artificial intelligence, including machine learning based data analysis, computational linguistics, computer vision, mobile robots and cognitive robotics, cognitive architectures and artificial general intelligence. It aims to advance science and technology for the good of all humanity, with a special focus on advanced artificial intelligence and on the use of cutting-edge technology to help leapfrog Africa into the future. Select projects by iCog Labs that are working to promote the tech and innovation sector in Ethiopia include Solve IT and the Anyone Can Code Programme.
Solve IT is an annual nationwide innovation competition which provides a modern, adaptable, and properly configured and conditioned platform, decentralising innovation activities to the grassroots level.
Solve IT has been guiding young Ethiopians, ages 18 to 28, into the realm of tech entrepreneurship by providing technical and theoretical training courses on software, hardware, marketing concentrated towards the concept of start-ups, and pro-poor technologies. The Anyone Can Code Programme targets children ages 8 to 18. Through after-school programmes and summer camps, iCog Labs staff teach students the basics of coding and robotics.
Gebeya IT Academy is an online workplace for Africa that matches highly skilled, certified and multilingual IT professionals with customers to develop innovative technology solutions, improving development efficiency, scalability and mobile success.
With presence in Ethiopia, Kenya and the Silicon Valley, Gebeya aims to produce African IT talent and provide an online IT services marketplace for the global business market. It works on expanding IT capabilities with training, increasing availability of IT talent, reducing IT operational costs and eliminating technology hardware and software needs for clients, as well as increasing opportunities for IT professionals.
In 2017, Wollo University in Ethiopia, Tulane University, Center for Global Health Equity and Microsoft – 4Afrika collaborated to launch the App-Factory Academy for young professionals with the aim of developing critical skills needed to innovate and maintain application software systems. The programme provides a six-month internship opportunity to highly motivated individuals that have successfully completed their undergraduate studies from Wollo University in the last three years in computer science, information technology, information systems, software engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering or related fields. On completion of the internship, graduates will be able to design, implement and deploy cloud-enabled, mobile and IT solutions in various sectors. They will also be equipped with critical business skills helping them to secure jobs or create their own businesses.
Wollo University will host the AppFactory Academy at its institution of technology campus, the Kombolcha Institute of Technology (KIoT). Each year, it will set projects based on different sectors, from healthcare to education, agriculture, air transportation and others.