In 1992, Dr Rahel Bekele became the first woman in Ethiopia to graduate from the new Information Science Master’s degree program, at a time when the distribution and use of computers or the Internet was still in its infancy, not just in Ethiopia. Since then Rahel Bekele has addressed the issue of how to use the opportunities of information and communication technologies, especially in the health sector. She obtained her doctoral degree in Hamburg in 2005 and during her stay there she also got in touch with Austria and the OeAD. For many years she has been particularly concerned with health education for pregnant women and young mothers in rural Ethiopia, as the mortality rates of women and children around the time of giving birth are still very high. With an information app on pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood, she and her team are currently working on the APPEAR project TEMACC. The project also tries to involve the husbands/men, since in these mostly Muslim societies there is also a big need for educating men – although it is not always welcomed.
In addition to many other activities, Rahel Bekele, who is also the mother of four children, has been involved in Addis Ababa Prison for many years. Among other engagement she teaches prisoners how to use computers. It should facilitate an easier re-entry into the society.