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Africa Code Week to Scale Coding Literacy

July 25, 2017 • Education, Southern Africa, Top Stories

Africa Code Week, SAP, MIT Media Lab

Continent-wide digital literacy initiative unlocks the continent’s future.
(image source: Julian Goldswain)

The Ministry of Basic Education in Botswana has partnered with SAP and trained over 400 local teachers to code, in a series of Train-the-Trainer sessions in preparation for SAP Africa Code Week 2017.

The training sessions took place at Gaborone Senior Secondary School and Mochudi Resource Centre, with all 400 participants trained to teach basic coding skills to their pupils using Scratch, a coding education programme designed by the MIT Media Lab to simplify coding.

“For coding to become an integral part of the school curriculum, teachers must be equipped with efficient, reliable teaching tools and materials,” says Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and Africa Code Week Global Lead. “In 2016 more than 5,600 teachers and educators were trained, many of whom continue their coding journey to positively impact the lives of thousands of young people.” SAP’s long-term goal is to empower more than 200,000 teachers and reach more than five million children and youth over the next ten years.



Founded in 2015, Africa Code Week is returning to the continent for the third time in October, with a goal to empower 500,000 young Africans with coding skills through hands-on, playful learning. Spearheaded by SAP and supported by UNESCO’s Youth Mobile initiative together with hundreds of public and private partners across Africa, last year’s events introduced coding to 426,000 youth across 30 countries over the course of nine days. This year, Africa Code Week will take place across 35 African countries between 18-25 October 2017.

“Train-the-Trainer workshops in Gaborone provided a platform for the transfer of skills and knowledge from SAP Skilled Volunteers (‘Master Coding Instructors’) to local parents, teachers and educators, enabling them to teach coding to children and youth in their respective communities”, says Gillissen-Duval. “Fully in line with SAP’s vision to help the world run better and improve people’s lives, Africa Code Week is on a mission to prepare Africa’s young generations to seize the unprecedented opportunities offered by the global, digital economy.”

Digital skills key to Africa’s success
Speaking at the event, Honourable Minister Dr. Unity Dow, Minister of Basic Education in Botswana, insisted that “a sustainable, ICT-driven national growth will only be achieved through the development of local skills and expertise – with a particular emphasis on the development of ICT skills in children and young adults”. Underlining the importance of private-public partnerships in this day and age, she told the audience: “The Ministry of Basic Education is proud to endorse Africa Code Week and I could not encourage you more to take part and leverage this opportunity to become fluent in the language of the 21st century”

Africa Code Week has a coding curriculum for every age group and interest: Scratch Level 1 and 2 for youth aged 8 – 17 and an introduction to web technologies (HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and SQL) for the 8-24 age group. “This year, thanks to the support of Honourable Minister Dow, the local community, SAP and partners, we plan to empower thousands of children with coding skills,” says Mooketsi Bennedict Tekere, CEO of Ngwana Enterprises Ltd. and implementing partner of Africa Code Week in Botswana.

Africa Code Week 2017
From October 18 to 25, Africa Code Week will provide thousands of free coding workshops and online training sessions to children and youth across 35 countries. The event always provides a number of ways for the public to get involved. Over and above actual attendance, opportunity exists for interested parties to host a free coding workshop, but to also receive free online training in Scratch. For further information about Africa Code Week, please visit www.africacodeweek.org or the SAP News Center. Follow Africa Code Week on Twitter @africacodeweek and @sap4good.

Staff Writer


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