Africa Code Week 2019 has once again exceeded expectations by empowering 3.85 million youth across 37 African countries.
More notably, the progressive adoption of digital skills into the school curriculum of several African countries points to the growing influence of educational initiatives such as ACW in preparing the continent’s youth for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, said: “Once again, Africa’s vibrant youth population has stepped-up to claim its place in the global economy, with millions of young Africans taking on the challenge of learning essential digital skills. Africa Code Week’s growing partner ecosystem and continued focus on equipping teachers with tools and knowledge is creating a sustainable platform for building a bright future for the continent, the benefits of which will be seen for decades.”
Launched in 2015 by SAP and UNESCO, Africa Code Week is on a mission to introduce coding skills to African youth eight to 16 years of age by raising awareness of the importance of digital education and building teaching capacity.
In support of this, explained Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility and Africa Code Week Global Lead at SAP, the 2019 edition expanded its outreach to a record-breaking number of teachers.
“Together with our partners and thanks to their support, we witnessed more than 39,000 teachers mobilized as part of the October 2019 workshops, including over 17,500 in Morocco alone. In Nigeria, we also scaled our impact by working closely with the Niger and Taraba state governments, enabling teachers across the region to access the training for the first time. And thanks to the DreamOval Foundation in Ghana, children with disabilities were able to attend tailored coding classes ensuring equal opportunities for all,” Gillisen-Duval said.
Francis Ahene-Affoh, SVP at DreamOval Foundation, also noted that teaching youths digital skills is also an opportunity to inspire and engage their creativity and open the door to new thinking around the challenges faced as “a country and a continent.”
She added, “Africa Code Week is a powerful tool to enable all-inclusive education that leaves no child behind.”
Since the launch of ACW in 2015, several countries including Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia have included digital literacy into their respective school curricula. Ahene-Affoh points to the Ghanaian government’s efforts to make coding skills a core pillar of basic education as a recent success made possible in part by ACW.