PRETORIA, South Africa — SAP Africa today announced the opening of the SAP Africa Kick and Code Soccer Camp and Festival at the Deutsche Schule, Pretoria as part of Africa Code Week (www.africacodeweek.org), a continent-wide initiative from 1 – 10 October across 17 African countries to spread digital literacy and simplify access to software coding education for young people*.
A first of its kind globally, the SAP Africa Kick and Code initiative is a fun-filled week for boys and girls aged 8 – 15 and activities include soccer training from UEFA A-licensed coaches from Germany and South Africa, SAFA (South African Football Association) grass-root coaching license training, as well as software coding workshops by IT experts from SAP Africa. This innovative program leverages the interface of shared value and encourages strong business networks partnerships through popular sporting activities such as soccer.
The initiative which was opened this morning by SAFA Development Foundation CEO, Robin Petersen and German Ambassador, Walter Lindner, will run until 9th October 2015 and represents collaboration between SAP Africa, Eintracht Frankfurt International Football Club, Football for Worldwide Unity and SAFA. Other special guests included Sascha Bauer, international professional soccer coach and Chairman of Football for Worldwide Unity; Gideon Sam, President of SASCOC and South African sports journalist and television moderator, Robert Marawa.
“This is an exciting era of digital skills evolution for youth in Africa especially with soccer being the language of unity spoken across the entire African continent. Bringing sport and s coding together to teach digital skills to under- privilege youth in a fun fashion will positively impact the lives of youth and local communities” said Gideon Sam, President of South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.
The Soccer Camp and Festival is targeted at children, soccer coaches and teachers within Tshwane schools and communities. Approximately 500 children have been selected from 35 schools in the Tshwane surrounding areas, including Mamelodi and Eesterus. The initiative approach combines analytical soccer techniques from the pitch with simple technical software coding sessions through MIT’s “Scratch” technology. The ultimate goal is for the children to create their own apps using Design Thinking principles to gain an understanding of the art behind science and innovation with a view to ultimately preparing them for the job market.
A team of SAP local and international volunteers together with Eintracht Frankfurt Soccer coaches from Germany will support this initiative.
“Eintracht Frankfurt is proud to partner with SAP in this ground-breaking initiative to help develop both digital and soccer skills in South Africa, where sports and technology can be fused in such a way that children learn life-skills whilst having fun. The Digital Economy presents exciting opportunities to close the digital divide and it is through initiatives such as this driven by companies like SAP, that the future of software coding is made a reality,” commented Uwe Mueller, team manager for Eintracht Frankfurt Football Club.
“SAP commits to continue investing towards developing local ICT skills to help South Africa and the entire continent remain both competitive and relevant. It is evident that analytics-driven innovation is transforming industries across the board, including sports and technology plays a crucial role to effectively enable this transformation. We are proud to contribute to the joy of the whole soccer experience as well as help equip our youth with the necessary skills to become relevant in the cut-throat job market.” concluded Mehmood Khan, Chief Operation Officer at SAP Africa.
*From October 1 to 10, online sessions and hundreds of free coding workshops will be organized for children and youth aged 8 to 24 across 17 countries – Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda.
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With more than 1,300 customers across the continent, SAP is already enabling African businesses and governments to grow, scale and globalise, as well as make the transition to a digital economy. As part of this commitment, SAP Africa now takes responsibility for operations across 52 African countries.
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