2.3m young Africans get empowerment with digital, coding skills

With coding as a universal language that could bridge not only the gender and income gaps but enable also inclusive access to 21st century education

Those who still believe that African youths may be left behind in the global competitiveness with digital and coding skills should better have a rethink.

With coding as a universal language that could bridge not only the gender and income gaps but enable also inclusive access to 21st century education, it is essential that young talent speak the language in order to be active participants in the global digital economy.

With sharp focus on capacity-building driving sustainable learning impact across the continent, number of young African talents with digital skills for challenges ahead are increasing by the day.

Just recently at the just concluded Africa Code Week, ACW, 2018, held in South Africa, no fewer than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries were empowered with digital and coding skills compared to 1.3 million youth engaged across 35 African countries in the previous edition.

From an initial focus of introducing coding skills to African youth and raising awareness of the importance of digital education, ACW key partners focused and augmented efforts in 2018 to sustain the impact of the programme through capacity-building with governments, schools and NPOs.

Meanwhile, close to 23,000 teachers were trained on the ACW digital learning curriculum in the run-up to October 2018 events.

Leveraging Africa Code Week to accelerate nationwide ICT capacity building since 2015, Morocco stands out again this year with a record of 5,208 teachers trained throughout the year 2018.

Tunisia and Nigeria follow with respectively 2,800 and 2,553 teachers trained this year. Launched in 2015 by SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibility EMEA department, ACW is an award-winning initiative taking place every year in the month of October.

It is now actively supported by key partners UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 imple menting partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

Empowering girls, reaching the unreached More than 46% of this year’s 2.3 million participants were female, reflecting a huge appetite for digital skills development among Africa’s girls. Dedicated grants came in from key partner BMZ, who has been supporting ACW since 2016 as part of the #eSkills4Girls initiative.

This year, BMZ awarded 20 grants to organisations across 15 emerging and developing countries, introducing 13,791 girls to digital skills and employment perspectives.

SAP further collaborated with UNESCO and BMZ/GIZ to strengthen the gender component of the Train-the-Teacher package for Africa Code Week.

With excitement, Cathy Smith, Managing Director of SAP Africa, believed that the resounding success of Africa Code Week was a wake-up call unveiling what the young generation actually needed and rightfully expected.

“Young people in Africa don’t just need opportunities: they need to know how to take the first steps to get there. They need role models and guidance”, she said.

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