Ethiopia's top femtrepreneur paves the way for Africa's women

Hadia Mohamed Gondji is changing the narrative for African women determined to succeed in business.

Lee Kasumba (left) and Hadia Mohamed Gondji. Picture: Primedia

While visiting Ethiopia for Standard Bank's Africa Connected campaign, Lee Kasumba sat down with the President of Ethiopian Women Exporters Association, Hadia Mohamed Gondji, a female business innovator who is making pioneering changes in Ethiopia’s male-dominated business sectors.

They discussed Ethiopia’s potential and the role of women in business. And while Mohamed Gondji's name is associated with success in arenas such as exports, horticulture and transportation, as a woman, she has had her fair share of bureaucratic challenges on her journey to the top.

Those days… women were not accepted in business.

Hadia Mohamed Gondji, president - Ethiopian Women Exporters Association

Returning to a liberated Ethiopia after starting her first cargo transportation business in Kenya, she became the first person to register a private transportation business during the transitional government’s efforts to privatise public transport.

It was not really easy… whenever I’d go there, they say – is it your husband?

Hadia Mohamed Gondji, president - Ethiopian Women Exporters Association

A woman with many titles under her belt, Gondji is challenging the status quo and using her position to actively promote women in business by offering training in exports and farming, free of charge.

Under her leadership, Ethiopia has seen a dramatic rise in female farmers, with a staggering 73% of women now working on coffee plantations.

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