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Kid Coders Win Big at Africa Code Week

February 24, 2016 by Robin Meyerhoff 34

From Tunisia to Togo, African youth took up 1s and 0s in droves: nearly 90,000 participated in Africa Code Week workshops.

SAP spearheaded the first-ever Africa Code Week last October with an ambitious goal: introduce coding skills to 20,000 young people. Thanks to SAP and partners around the world, the initiative reached almost 90,000 young people from 17 African countries who took part in the more than 3,000 free coding workshops.

A strong network of more than 100 partners — local governments, NPOs, NGOs, educational institutions and businesses — made the initiative a resounding success. Partners included the Cape Town Science Centre, the Galway Education Centre,, Ampion and the King Baudouin Foundation.

Top Three Countries

Government support was notably strong in Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia.

With the highest engagement numbers – and a total of 33,589 young people introduced to coding during Africa Code Week – Morocco won the Africa Code Week 2015 award. SAP will provide Moroccan organizations with grants to help roll out digital education kits in participating schools.

Rachid Benmokhtar, Moroccan Minister of Education and Vocational Training, said, “The viral impact of Africa Code Week in Morocco is a perfect example of how governments can leverage continent-wide initiatives like Africa Code Week to encourage ICT teaching in schools while driving engagement among students and teachers alike.”

The Ivory Coast took second place for participation, with a ratio of 92 per 100,000 people joining, and a total of 20,291 young people participating. Organizations in the country will receive a grant from SAP to help create a web programming school.

Louis Diakité, the Africa Code Week ambassador from the Ivory Coast and CEO of Alink Telecom, said, “Africa Code Week is exactly the kind of leverage we needed to make coding accessible to underserved children and allow most of them to even touch a computer for the first time.”

South Africa ranked third in total engagement with over 17,000 young people trained across all provinces.

On the Bus

In Rwanda and South Africa, a team of nonprofits led by SAP, Ampion and the Cape Town Science Centre worked together to bring free coding workshops to more than 18,000 children in urban and rural areas. Touring the Kigali and Western Cape regions, a PC-equipped bus named “Ampion Africa Code Week on Tour” invited more than 1,200 children to learn coding on board.

Girls Join in Droves

Female participation in Africa Code Week reached 60 percent in Tunisia, 56 percent in South Africa and 50 percent in Togo, signaling greater gender equality in ICT education.

Building on the success of this first edition, SAP and partners are now preparing Africa Code Week 2016, with plans to expand to 30 countries.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.


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