The Role of Habesha Real Estate Agents: Navigating the Real Estate Market

Habesha Real Estate Agents: Navigating the Real Estate Market In the bustling real estate market of the Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Atlanta, Seattle, and Minneapolis area, finding the perfect home can be a daunting task. However, for members of the Ethiopian community, there's a comforting presence – Habesha real estate agents. These agents play a crucial role in understanding the unique needs and preferences of the Habesha diaspora, ensuring a smooth and culturally sensitive home-buying experience.   Understanding Habesha Representation Habesha real estate agents cater specifically to the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities, providing services tailored to their cultural backgrounds and preferences. This representation is invaluable, especially in an industry where personal connection and understanding are paramount. Find Top Habesha Agents in the DMV Area, Atlanta, Seattle, and other cities Ethiopian Real Estate Agents in DC, MD and VA Habesha Rea…
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Ethiopian Tourism Tech Startup Zagol Launches Travel Platform  

Ethiopian tourism tech startup Zagol has officially launched its platform, enabling travelers to plan and book their trips, covering everything from flights and hotels to car rentals and tours.

Zagol which aims to provide the best travel experiences for both local and global customers, operates in seven languages, including four local ones. The startup states that its platform is connected to thousands of tour operators, local and international hotels, and ten major airlines.

“We have selected hotels with three stars and above. Customers can also reach us through our dedicated call center number, 8166,” Yared Nigusse, CEO of Zagol, told Shega.

The application, developed in-house over a two-year period by Zagol Systems Trading, marks a slight shift from Zagol’s previous service model, known for providing tour packages and visa services. Currently, the startup has a team of 15 employees.”

Zagol has integrated various payment methods, including Te…

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Navigating Blended Learning, Edtech Frontiers in Ethiopia

In his quest for career advancement, Tewodros Tefera, a 32-year-old father employed at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, found solace and progress in his academic journey through Harambe University’s online platform. Currently employed as an accountant, it has been seven years since he earned his bachelor’s degree from Bahirdar University.

Having completed his master’s degree amidst the demands of family life, Tewodros appreciated the flexibility of blended learning. For him, the ability to learn while enjoying life’s simple pleasures was invaluable.

“I can’t afford to lose time attending physical classes due to life’s demands. I’m glad I didn’t have to endure the traditional chalk-and-board approach,” remarked Tewodros.

Blended learning, an approach combining innovative teaching techniques with digital technology, can potentially increase learners’ interest and improve teaching and learning outcomes.

Similar to Tewodros, many students in Ethiop…

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Ethiopia to Enforce Mandatory Digital ID Requirement to Access Some Government Services

Ethiopia is preparing to enforce a mandatory national digital ID requirement to access select crucial government services. With nationwide implementation to be carried out in phases across government agencies, the move signals a paradigm shift where citizens without digital IDs will find themselves ineligible for these services.

Yodahe Zemichael, the Executive Director of Ethiopia’s National ID Program, shared in an interview with Shega that integrating some essential public services into the digital ID framework has been the long-term vision of the program.

“We plan to integrate all services into the digital ID. This has been the vision of the proclamation and why we are allocating resources,” stated Yodahe.

In March 2023, lawmakers approved the Digital Identity Proclamation. While the proclamation does not mandate citizens to register for IDs, it grants institu…

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Arifpay Launches Payment Gateway – Shega

Arifpay Financial Technologies announces the release of its new and enhanced payment system, Arifpay 2.0, which includes an online payment gateway and an upgraded version of its point-of-sale (POS) device.

Arifpay’s online payment system consolidates and accepts payment from nine local debit cards, six local wallets, and two international cards. 

Having debuted Arifpay 1.0 in December 2022, the fintech startup has since been working on the ground, empowering merchants with ArifPOS across various industries, including healthcare, hospitality, and retail.

The upgraded version of ArifPOS, costing around 21,500 birr, introduces additional features, allowing acceptance of not only cards but also wallets. It incorporates “a terminal management system that centrally controls and monitors ArifPOS devices, providing an enhanced user interface and overall user experience,” stated Arifpay in a press release.

Arifpay reports that some banks have fully outsourced …

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Waterlife Ethiopia Introduces Sustainable Clean Water Access Through Smart Water Kiosks

WaterLife Ethiopia, a local company specializing in waterworks, is establishing smart water kiosks in urban and peri-urban areas of Ethiopia, providing access to clean and safe drinking water at an affordable price.

Equipped with a digital water meter and a dedicated app, these digital water kiosks will be set up in 15 woredas across Amhara, Sidama, Tigray, and Oromia regional states.

Fasika Afework, founder and CEO of WaterLife Ethiopia, states that the project aims to offer sustainable means of accelerating access to safe drinking water without adversely affecting the ecosystem and providing a long-term solution.

Water pumps with digital meters will be installed on ground wells dug by WaterLife. The digital meter records the volume of water consumption and transmits the data for reporting. The company uses this data to monitor the remaining water in the ground well and stop operations when necessary.

“The device accepts SIM cards and uses WiFi to se…

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Ethiopian Startups, SMEs Receive $150,000 in Grants Preparing Them for Investment Readiness

The Innovative Finance Lab (IFL), funded by GIZ, has awarded $150,000 in grants to 30 startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Each grantee received $5,000 to boost their investment readiness by strengthening their institutional capacity.

The grant was awarded following a pitch competition for 43 SMEs and startups who were part of the first alumni of the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) programme run by the IFL.

Launched in 2022 by UNDP and the National Bank of Ethiopia, the IFL aims to establish a hub for piloting and scaling up flexible and innovative financial instruments that cater to the capital needs of Ethiopia’s startups and SMEs.

Speaking to Shega Dagmawit Shiferaw, Director of the Innovative Financial Lab, highlighted that the companies were connected to existing financing opportunities to provide them with institutional capacity until IFL’s financing arm is up and running.  

As part of its intervention programmes, IFL init…

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Ethiopia Welcomes VC-Backed Incubator Weventure

WeVenture, a newly established local venture capital-backed incubator, has officially opened its doors. Supported by a coalition of successful local investors and professionals, including Yonaiel Tadiwos, Manager at Kuriftu Resort and Boston Day Spa, the hub aims to identify, nurture, and scale startups with breakthrough innovations, assisting them in securing the necessary private and public capital to grow and implement ideas.

With the goal of supporting eight to ten startups in its first year, WeVenture will run both incubation and acceleration programs. Co-founded by Noel Daniel and Makeda Tsegaye, WeVenture is located on the second floor of Sur Construction Building in the Bole area.

“We require more privately funded hubs in the country. WeVenture is crafted to uplift startups and establish a professional and open workspace,” stated Noel Daniel, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of WeVenture, in a conversation with Shega.

Venture capital is a form of p…

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Kabba, Student-Centric Ride-Sharing Platform Unlocks Fresh Market in Addis Ababa

Three years ago, Blen Hailu, after a decade of working in the banking industry, transitioned to a new chapter in life by starting a family. Blen, who holds a Master’s Degree in Developmental Economics, was a mother of two at the time and was facing challenges in transporting her kids to and from school.

“The existing transportation service for students lacks quality and is unreliable, and unsafe. The drivers and attendants are not adequately trained and responsible for the well-being of the children,” states Blen.

According to Blen, parents face numerous issues, such as being unable to monitor their children’s trips. Some schools do have their own transportation service for kids. But parents have no choice in selecting the car or driver, as the service was assigned through the school, limiting their control over the transportation arrangements. Moreover, there was no guarantee of service continuity if the assigned car or driver encountered issues.

Blen real…

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Ethiopian-Born Former Google Engineer Ventures into Bitcoin Mining in Ethiopia

QRB Labs ICT Solutions, a local company co-founded by Nemo Semret (PhD), a former Google engineer of Ethiopian origin, is in the process of establishing a Bitcoin mining site on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

Awaiting clearance from the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) to import its equipment into Ethiopia, QRB has already initiated the construction of its mining site. Civil and electrical works are scheduled to be completed in early 2024.

QRB Labs, co-founded by four Ethiopian-origin entrepreneurs in 2021, specializes in providing data center services to international clients, with a focus on location-agnostic high-energy computations such as Bitcoin mining.

Its Bitcoin mining operation is organized within modular containers, facilitating easy scalability. Each module, housed in a shipping container, will be equipped with 100-300 high-power computers.

With power consumption expected to slowly grow to 150 megawatts in a few years, equivalent …

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