Making a difference in Ethiopia is an aspiration shared by many Ethiopians and the diaspora living abroad. Away from home in Chicago, Illinois, Ammanuel M. Ayalew (Aman) is making that ambition a reality. He’s passionate about harnessing the power of like-minded people around the globe to empower locals in Ethiopia.
After earning his first B.A. degree in Marketing Management at Unity University, he joined Kifiya Financial Technology as a marketing assistant. He worked on Leuhulu and projects designed to promote financial inclusion in Ethiopia through mobile and branchless banking. After Kifiya, he completed his second B.A. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Governors State University (GSU), where he received a basketball scholarship. He continued his academic career at GSU, earning his M.A. degree in Communication. After working primarily in Chicago’s tourism and education sectors for over half a decade, he started Ureeka Lab, a digital marketing agency serving small and medium-sized businesses in the United States.
Aman’s ambition transcends the Atlantic ocean and reverberates home, Addis Ababa. After a conversation with Nebiyu Hailemariam, Aman gathered his contacts and co-founded Jegna, a flagship program of People to People ((P2P) that recognizes the potential of the Ethiopian diaspora in driving true change in Ethiopia.
“I love helping people, especially those who’re willing to help others,” said Aman. ”Ethiopia has a huge potential despite all the daunting challenges, but we need new perspectives to drive innovation. There are highly educated industry experts around the globe who are itching to make things happen in the country. I want Jegna to be that mobilizing force that connects this talent around the globe with organizations in Ethiopia.”
Progress is the only constant for Aman. He wants to grow Jegna’s local partnerships throughout Ethiopia.
“In order to create a sustainable change, we’re making strategic partnerships with local organizations that are looking for fresh perspectives,” said Aman. “We want to help them find volunteer experts who can help them grow their businesses and initiatives — through virtual and in-person projects.”Local organizations in Ethiopia that are interested in partnering with Jegna can submit this form.