‘CodeBus Africa’ arrives in Abuja
Young computer coders tour the continent to celebrate 100 years of Finland
Leading education and technology organisations from Finland and Nigeria will come together this month to run creative coding workshops for local students, which takes off today in Abuja.
The collaboration is part of the CodeBus Africa project, a 100-day tour connecting Finnish and African innovators as part of Finland’s official Centenary anniversary celebrations.
The aim of the project is to boost grassroots level teaching of computer programming, and to contribute to long-term efforts to promote quality education, youth empowerment and employment.
CodeBus Africa is focused firmly on the young; this innovative activity will consist of creative coding workshops, and is organised in Nigeria by the Embassy of Finland in partnership with the Finnish Aalto University, and Abuja-based innovation hub, Ventures Platform.
The project, which is regionally sponsored by the Finnish global telecom leader Nokia, will place special emphasis on involving girls who still remain underrepresented among the users and creators of technology.
Students will pair up to learn coding and to produce their own song with the free open-source platform Sonic Pi. Peer support, creative self-expression and a tangible final product are all elements designed to make the learning experience positive and rewarding. At least half of the participants in the workshops will be girls.
The CodeBus Africa journey will span 10 countries in total – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia – between February and May 2017. “I am delighted that we are able to bring this project to Nigeria as part of our anniversary celebrations,” said Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria. “I find it particularly important to reach out to the young, focusing on education and employment – critical factors in successfully building the future of any country.”
“We are very lucky to have such a great local partner as Ventures Platform working with us. They have a critical role in planning and implementing the project, and have been absolutely invaluable. Without them this project simply would not have been possible. I am also extremely grateful for the partnership of Nokia. As a global leader in innovation and technology worldwide, they have the capacity to transform lives through shaping the future of technology. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work together with them in putting this capacity into the use of the common good.”