Who are we?
ZODAJ Africa began with a group of Carnegie Mellon University students with both an affinity to the continent of Africa and a longing to rectify its most pressing issues.
Despite the company’s humble beginnings in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, ZODAJ has expanded its reach attracting like-minded intellectuals from colleges around the nation and the world at large. Our diverse team of intellectuals and change-makers hail from Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, and more. While some of us are native-born Africans, we are also comprised of members first-generation Americans as well as being black Americans. This collective brings with it distinct and unique perspectives to the discussion surrounding Africa’s growth and potential development.
Indiscipline, our team has students pursuing degrees in Computer Science, Behavioral Economics, Cognitive Psychology, Mechanical Engineering, Business Administration, International Relations & Politics, and many more. Though we differ from one another on an individual level, stemming from various lines of work, we unite however in our dedication to the company. Collectively, every member of this team has a personal commitment to the development of Africa as a whole. ZODAJ employees and board members, with their drive, passion, and expertise, continue to push the company towards its mission.
From Vision to Reality
The very first assembly of the hard-working team we have today began in August of 2018. Soon-to-be members were just beginning their first semester at Carnegie Mellon University. It wasn’t anyone’s expectation that a group of students vastly diversified by school, major, interests, hobbies, and native culture would ever come together to form a startup of all things. In fact, Awa Ndiaye, CEO, had a lot to do with our paths crossing the way they did. Interested in our diverse portfolio of skills, Ndiaye came to each member with an idea and a proposal.
As a woman interested in business administration who had also led ventures in entrepreneurship before, Ndiaye was looking to recruit teammates for another much larger project, possibly one that could make a large-scale impact on a land near to our hearts: Africa. According to statistics Ndiaye had sourced from UNICEF’s 2030 Agenda for Africa, the African population is currently rising exponentially. All the while, classrooms continue to exceed occupant capacity, students are dropping out in favor of finding means to feed their families, and jobs and opportunities still remain few and far in between.
Ndiaye proposed that we could be the avenue through which Africans can increase their own quality of life. A message we could all get behind. We created ZODAJ as fellow founders, and the rest is history. Since that point, ZODAJ Africa’s mission has and will always be an African solution to an African problem.