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Who We Are

Addis Ideas is Africa’s first “ideas engine.” We’re harnessing the innovation of African nationals and diaspora. We know that the best solutions come from within our communities-- we want to spark change from the bottom up, not from the top down.

Why Addis Ideas

The primary reason development efforts fail is an insufficient understanding of local African conditions. By crowdsourcing development ideas from African nationals and diaspora, Addis Ideas relies solely on innovation from the continent.

How The Platform Works

Users submit project ideas to a live feed, where they receive public support and private sponsorship from the Addis Ideas online community. Our goal is to enhance public participation in the development sphere and create a collaborative workspace for Africans who want to improve their communities.



We are A-players. Our skill sets include emerging markets, finance, marketing, mobile, and web development.

Tia Ayele

Tia Ayele

A skilled professional in the development field, her portfolio includes federal legislative work, economic development research, and global trade and security analysis.

Mitu Yilma

Mitu Yilma

A graduate from Duke University, where she earned a B.A. in both Public Policy and Sociology, she has an extensive background in marketing, campaigning and communications.

Dennis Shah

Dennis Shah
Technical Co-Founder

A self-styled "renaissance man" with two engineering degrees from Old Dominion University, he brings many years of experience in telecommunications, nonprofit management, and technical consulting.

Our Fellows perform a critical role in raising awareness about Addis Ideas.

Rabiya Asad

Rabiya Asad
Marketing Fellow

She recently graduated with a Masters in
Public and International Affairs
from the University of Ottawa.

Chanty Gbaye

Chanty Gbaye
Marketing Fellow

Originally from Liberia, he is a political science major,
with a minor in communications and a
concentration in public administration.

Our board has a rich, diverse background in African development, ranging from finance
to funding early-stage companies.

Simba Marekera

Simba Marekera
Co-Founder, Ignition Investments Management

He is the co-founder of
Ignition Investments Management
and the Seeds of Africa Fund.

Olivier Alais

Olivier Alais
Co-Founder, Soukeina

He is the co-founder of Soukeina,
a consulting firm with offices in Paris,
France and Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso.

Ermias Sehai

Ermias Sehai
African Regional Managing Director, CIMAC, Inc.

Ermias Sehai is a management consultant professional,
with a proven track record in IT systems strategy
development and operational execution.

Alpha Kiflu

Alpha Kiflu
CFO, ALLE Bejimla

He is the Chief Financial Officer and Deputy General Manager
at ALLE Bejimla, Ethiopia’s first modern
cash and carry wholesaler of FMCGs.


Follow us on our journey!

One of Six Finalists at MIT Africa Innovate

Addis Ideas was selected as one of six finalists for the 2015 MIT Africa Innovate Conference, an intimate showcase of the latest ideas and innovations in entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare, energy, and education.

Help Us Win the Duke Startup Challenge!

We were named as one of the top teams in the Duke Startup Challenge, and we need YOUR help in raising 5,000 dollars to cover the cost of launching our platform in Washington, DC!


We want bold individuals to help drive Addis Ideas forward.

Junior Full Stack Developer

Field Research Director

Marketing Fellows


We want to hear from you!