SAP NEWSBYTE — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the launch of the inaugural Africa Code Week (ACW), to take place in October 2015. The initiative will enable an estimated 20,000 children across the continent ranging from eight to 24 years to participate in software coding workshops across 11 African countries: South Africa, Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia. ACW has been developed together with Simplon.co, the Cape Town Science Centre and the Galway Education Centre, with the purpose of empowering youth, teachers and parents with the language of software programming to help bridge the digital skills gap across many areas in Africa.
The launch coincides with the commencement of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, entitled “Then and Now: Reimagining Africa’s Future,” which is being hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. ACW speaks to the future prosperity of Africa and will provide a sustainable, innovation-driven solution to the socio-economic challenges faced by the continent. According to WEF, Africa has the largest youth demographic across the globe. Over the next 25 years, it is estimated that the continent’s working-age population will double to 1 billion, exceeding that of China and India. Compounding the potential problem in relation to this boom in working-age youth is the lack of education, particularly technology training. It is estimated that throughout Africa, less than one percent of children leave school with basic coding skills, yet government, the private sector and non-profit companies are unable to fill positions with employees holding this very skill set.
Through a decade-long relationship with FIRST LEGO League, SAP has identified that gamification provides the optimal environment for children to rapidly absorb technology skills. ACW is an extension of this thinking — that children learn best when they are having fun — and the pedagogic approach to ACW provides that platform.
“SAP Africa is proud to be part of the Africa Code Week program, which will help provide African youth with the critical skill set required in the highly competitive 21st century job market,” said Pfungwa Serima, CEO of SAP Africa. “This exciting effort supplements our Skills for Africa initiative that is promoting both skills development and job creation across the continent.”
SAP recognizes the necessity to empower the youth of Africa in the demanding era of the digital economy, where no industry will remain untouched by computers, software and the unending need for meaningful data. As part of its Skills for Africa initiative, SAP Africa aims to train up an additional 10,000 qualified SAP consultants by 2020.
SAP invites other companies to join in this effort to train African youth by becoming partners for Africa Code Week 2015.
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