Africa Code Week has empowered 1.3 million youth across 35 countries with basic coding skills in 2017. According to organisers, indicated a 203% increase over the 2016 iteration, which saw nearly 427 000 youth trained across 30 African countries.
Africa Code Week was launched in 2015 by SAP EMEA in partnership with the Cape Town Science Centre and the Galway Education Centre. Its mission is to that bring together schools, teachers, governments, businesses and non-profit organisations with the aim to empower young people across Africa with digital literacy skills.
@SAPAfrica #AfricaCodeWeek is clearly on track to achieve its target of 5 million youth trained in #code for 2025, with over 1,3 million already trained in 2017!! pic.twitter.com/EyjIi0xKq6
— Hook, Line & Sinker (HLS) (@HLScomms) December 5, 2017
In 2017, Africa Code Week and UNESCO joined the #eSkills4girls initiative launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to overcome the gender digital divide. The latter awarded 20 grants to 20 organisations, improving digital skills and employment perspectives for 8 259 girls and women in emerging and developing countries.
Claire Gillissen-Duval, director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and global project lead for Africa Code Week, explains “Participation in the Southern African region increased by nearly 142%, with more than 116 800 youth trained in total.
“With an average ratio of 43% female participation in coding workshops, Africa Code Week 2017 has created a huge appetite for digital skills development among Africa’s girls. Female representation in African companies in STEM-related fields currently stands at only 30%, requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success,” she said.
500 000 -1.3m, what a giant step we took to get everyone to love Coding & Scratch @AfricaCodeWeek #africacodeweek pic.twitter.com/4u7CnOdDOn
— Mpumalanga ICT Club (@ICTclub_MP) December 7, 2017
This is a good development especially as forecasts indicate that Africa’s working-age population will double to one billion, exceeding that of China and India over the next 25 years. On the other hand, the digital skills gap in the continent will widen if the structures for training are not augmented.
Many companies present on the continent today are struggling to fill IT-related positions with local, qualified workforce. Currently, only one percent of African children leave school with basic coding skills.
You can check out a list of their programmes here
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