The Africa Code Week, ACW, a continent-wide initiative to ignite the interest of African children, teenagers and young adults in software coding has received a boost with the collaboration between SAP and Ondo State government for the hosting of the event.
The event slated to hold from 22 – 23 August is one of SAP’s social investments to drive sustainable growth in Africa, transforming the story of hundreds of schools, teachers, governments, businesses and non-profits.
At ACW, over 200 teachers, unemployed graduates and volunteers will be trained in coding and web development by SAP staff and volunteers. The event, which takes place in Ilara-Mokin via Akure, is preparatory to the October 18th to 25th live events where in Ondo State, Nigeria and other towns and cities in 35 countries across Africa, youth from three different age groups (8-11; 12-17; 18-24) will participate in free coding activities, organized by SAP and its partners.
The State’s Senior Special Adviser on ICT, Olumbe Akinkugbe, while speaking on the ACW emphasized the need of ICT empowerment for Ondo State youths. According to him, “ICT is an enabler and a must-have skill for students aspiring to compete favourably within the global knowledge economy”.
He said that the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu is committed to ensuring that youths within the state gain skills that would enable them to innovate and make impactful changes in their communities. The SSA applauded SAP’s dedication “to spread digital literacy across the continent and start shaping tomorrow’s skilled workforce for sustainable growth in Africa”.
Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and Africa Code Week Global Lead, Claire Gillissen-Duval, said, “SAP has embraced the view that training workers for a digital economy is our corporate responsibility. Furthermore, we believe that leading companies have a moral obligation to initiate people into the modern economy, regardless of where they come from.”
On the level of preparations for the 2017 edition, Nigeria’s Coordinator of Africa Code Week, Olajide Ademola Ajayi, said that Ondo State Government’s interest to partner with SAP on the initiative is a welcome development, adding that participants should expect to gain knowledge of creative computing through hands-on, playful learning, that typify Africa Code Week- the coding enablement program for Africa’s teeming young generation.
“We are grateful to Ondo State Government for taking this initiative seriously. In Nigeria, people think that IT, computing and the likes are synonymous with major cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Truly, these States and the FCT are doing very well; however, there is a pressing need to spread this far and wide, from Lagos to Cairo, from Timbuktu to Cape Town. Collectively, SAP along with public and private enterprises need to ensure that no child is left behind irrespective of geographical location,” he said.
Managing Director, SAP West Africa, Pedro Guereiro, stressed further, “when it comes to accessing higher skills development, training thousands of teachers, parents and educators across 35 African countries and providing access to them online courses, beyond the actual live event in October, allows to multiply efforts and impact.”
He stated that the inaugural Africa Code Week saw 89,000 youth participate across 17 countries in 2015, growing to 426,758 across 30 countries in 2016 – beating the target of 150,000 by a huge margin.
ACW reinforces SAP’s commitment to education, creating a full lifecycle of skills support for young people in Africa. With a goal to empower 200,000+ teachers and positively impact the lives of 5M young Africans over the next 10 years, ACW is built to be sustainable and provide long-term impact.