Africa Code Week Aiming To Empower Youth, Begins With Madagascar Coding Workshops

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Africa Code Week
Africa Code Week will see youth in Madagascar and other African countries learn to code. Photo: Facebook

Ahead of the start of Africa Code Week 2018, which will take place throughout the continent in October, hundreds of teachers and parents in Madagascar have learned basic coding skills.

Thanks to a partnership between Africa Code Week and software development group SAP, over 200 teachers and parents in Madagascar now have a basic level understanding of how to code, according to ITWebAfrica.

The participants were given the training through Train-the-Trainer sessions, learning to code with Scratch, an open-source interactive coding language that was developed by the MIT Media Lab.

Launched in 2015, the SAP Africa Code Week will take place for a fourth time this year, with the aim of empowering 600,000 young African boys and girls with coding skills through playful learning methods that inspire enjoyment and creativity.

This year Africa Code Week will take place in 35 countries across the continent during October, with “Hour of Code” follow-up workshops in a number of the countries set for December.

Growing each year and making an increasingly important impact on youth in Africa, Africa Code Week is now supported by numerous partners including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as well as 15 African governments, and over 150 partners and 100 ambassadors across the continent.

With over half of Madagascar’s 26 million people classified as youth, the country is taking defined steps towards expanding its information an communication technology infrastructure and access, according to Africa.com.

Coding initiatives form part of that push, while the government is also working to establish ICT centers in schools.

Africa Code Week teaching digital skills to the youth

Since inception Africa Code Week has introduced digital skills to more than 1,8 million children across 35 countries and aims to empower 70,000 teachers while impacting the lives of two million youth by 2020, according to EngineeringNews.

Karolina Telejko, director of EMEA corporate social responsibility at SAP and project lead for Africa Code Week, explained the aims of the initiative this year.

“2018 will be an exciting year as ACW shifts into second gear from igniting the continent and raising awareness of the importance of digital education to sustaining the impact of the programme through capacity-building efforts in close partnerships with governments, schools and NPOs,” Telejko said, according to AfricaCodeWeek.

Last year Africa Code Week was held across 35 African countries between Oct. 18-25, according to TechTrends.