AfriCAN Code Challenge, All Female TOP 3 use Tech to Change the Future of Education


After a rigorous round of judging for this year’s AfriCAN Code Challenge, SAP Africa Code Week’s top 10 winners were announced and special highlights include the top 3 being all-female, aged 10 – 16 years, with Soliyana, 10 years old from Ethiopia as the Pan-African winner of the competition.

“Despite the Covid-disruption for schools which impacted hundreds of millions of youth across Africa, children from more than 54 countries stepped-up to share their vision of the future of education,” says Africa Code Week’s Global Coordinator, Olajide Ademola Ajayi.

Ajayi continues to say that the youth engagement throughout the challenge was incredibly inspiring, “While there can ultimately be only one winner, the quality of entries at the inaugural AfriCAN Code Challenge encouraged hope and confidence for Africa’s future, shaped by the largest youth population in the world.”

Launched by SAP Africa Code Week and partners UNESCO, Irish Aid, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and Jokkolabs in September 2020, the AfriCAN Code Challenge is a pan-African coding competition where youth aged 8 – 16 were tasked with coding a game using the Scratch programming language to answer the question: “How will your tech change the future of education?”

During the AfriCAN Code Challenge youth were able to enter alone or in teams of up to five people, and entries featured a two-minute YouTube clip showcasing how their game works and why it should be considered a winning entry. The unique initiative and entry mechanism called upon the children’s ability to design a project that would solve a community-issue, code it, and communicate it.

During the opening rounds of the challenge, participation reached across 40 countries and featured 100 project video clips, only the top three entries from 36 countries made it into the continental final, followed by 22 countries in the final judging stage.

Selected by a high-level jury composed of key Africa Code Week delegates and STEM education experts, the top three of the AfriCAN Code Challenge was allocated to:

  • First place: Ethiopia – Mathstainement by Soliyana, 10 years old
  • Second place: South Africa – Space Quest by Kayla, 15 years old
  • Third place: Algeria – ‘Welcome to the Best School’ by Sarah, 16 years old

Followed by:


First place: Ethiopia’s – Mathstainement by Soliyana, 10 years old

The jury also awarded two superior prizes for ‘Outstanding Government Support’ to Morocco and Nigeria, where the competition was implemented by the Ministries of Education, and received strong institutional support.

Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility and Co-founder of Africa Code Week at SAP celebrates the joyous occasion, “The all-female top three proves that the future of tech cannot be envisioned without girls. Once again, this year’s ACW initiative increased its female participation and these incredible achievements highlight the massive strides that SAP, partners and the ACW programme continue to make in closing gender gap and build an all-inclusive digital world.”

“In addition to the winners, we also give thanks to the ongoing support from Government, who join us on our digital journey and believe in the importance and relevance of 21st century learning for the development of native African excellence. The solid base of our partnership with the Moroccan and Nigerian Ministries of Education is the foundation of a successful model which we wish to replicate throughout Africa, to encourage governments to include computer coding in their national curricula.”

For more information about SAP Africa Code Week and the AfriCAN Code Challenge, visit www.africacodeweek.org

 About Africa Code Week

Since 2015, SAP Africa Code Week (ACW) has been creating free opportunities for young Africans to learn coding skills and for teachers to be trained on digital learning curricula. Strong partnerships with the public, private and civil society sectors across the continent are driving sustainable impact by building teaching capacity and supporting the adoption of coding into national curricula in support of UN Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5 and 17. Key partners include UNESCO Youth Mobile, Irish Aid, the ADEA, Google and GIZ/BMZ.

In 2019 alone, the initiative saw 3.85M children participating in coding workshops and 39,000 teachers mobilized across 37 countries. In 2020, ACW increased the program’s reach to the entire continent to deepen impact and ensure no child was left behind. The online rollout took center stage across Africa with the launch of a smartphone App to facilitate accessible learning, the introduction of the AfriCAN Code Challenge – a competition themed, ‘How will your tech change the future of education’ engaging youth from 40 African countries, Virtual Train-the-Trainer (TTT) sessions for teachers and a second Women Empowerment Workshop engaging 70 teachers in a 8-week long online program. Join SAP and partners by visiting www.africacodeweek.org to find out more.