Africa’s biggest digital skills initiative is now underway as SAP Africa Code Week launched its sixth edition on October 5 with an all-new virtual format.
Speaking at a virtual event to mark World Teacher’s Day and launch this year’s ACW, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Deputy Director General, Xing Qu, said this year’s ACW took place in the unprecedented context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As distance learning became the norm for most students, this shift has taught us that digital skills are essential. And yet fewer than 30 per cent of people worldwide master basic information and communication technology skills, and only three per cent of adults in middle-income countries have coding skills.”
Women also continued to be excluded, noted Qu.
Women and girls are 25 per cent less likely than men to know how to use digital technology for basic purposes, according to.
Qu added, “We all know digital skills are no longer an option – they are a necessity. While COVID-19 is creating challenges, it is also offering opportunities. Due to the pandemic, this year’s ACW is taking place entirely online and, as a result, is covering all 54 countries on the African continent.”
Launched September 1 in partnership with SAP, UNESCO YouthMobile and Irish Aid, the AfriCANCode Challenge is a coding competition for students aged eight to 16 currently taking place across the continent.
Invited to compete individually or in teams, young participants are on a mission to imagine the future of education with a Scratch game and two-minute video explaining why their code should win.
Fostering a wide range of essential skills from problem-solving and coding all the way to teamwork and communications, the challenge will see the top three winners from each participating country compete at the pan-African level.
Final results will be announced later this year.