In 2007, Aïda's new-found creativity resulted in her first trophy: the European Union Prize at the African Photography Encounters biennial, in Bamako, Mali. "The work that I do is a visual diary of my experiences and thoughts over the years, hence I chose portraits because it is a journey exploring various topics through each model," she says. "I want to share humanistic stories, to find things that create communality as opposed to differences, and to share a perspective that questions our own humility regardless of our backgrounds." More success followed in 2010, when Aïda was crowned winner of CRAF's International Award of Photography in Spilimbergo, Italy.
Later that year, Aïda released the book Ethiopia: Past/Forward, and launched Addis Foto Fest, the first international photography festival in East Africa, held every two years in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. "I am so proud of the festival," she says. "I have been teaching photography since 2008, but I realised that it wasn't just about teaching photographers but also teaching my community, through the festival, on the application and perspectives of photography. Over the years, I have begun to understand that if we are to shift how the world sees Africa, we need to develop new African talent through education."