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SAP Africa Code Week unlocks Africa’s future


Over the next two weeks Nigeria will play host to a series of official train-the-trainer (TTT) sessions as the country takes on a leading role in the build up to SAP Africa Code Week (ACW) 2016.

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Founded in 2015, ACW seeks to empower African youth with coding skills through hands-on and playful learning.

Spearheaded by SAP, world leaders in enterprise software, and with the support of hundreds of partners across Africa, its inaugural year saw more than 89,000 youth across 17 countries introduced to software coding within a mere ten days – four times the initial goal. The aim for ACW 2016 is to double that, reaching a minimum of 150,000 youth throughout 30 African countries.

“However, the sustainability of initiatives such as ACW relies heavily on skilled volunteers,” says Kudzai Danha, Managing Director for SAP West Africa.

“In order to train a new generation of Digital Economy workers in Africa we need to have skilled and knowledgeable instructors in place to provide mentorship, leadership and skills transfer to our ACW participants. It is our vision to not only help the world run better, but to improve people’s lives. TTT workshops enable the teachers of today to enable the innovators of tomorrow by providing a platform for the transfer of skills and knowledge from ‘Master Instructors’ to parents, teachers and educators, empowering them to become teachers who can train students in their local communities.”

Aimed at local school teachers, this week’s TTT workshops in Lagos and Abuja will seek to train in excess of 200 participants. The objective is to empower as many people as possible to take part in this year’s ACW and to ensure the sustainability of this initiative. With over 1,500 educators trained in 2015, all of whom have gone on to positively impact the lives of thousands of young people, SAP’s long-term goal is to empower more than 200,000 teachers reaching in excess of five million children and youth over the next ten years.

Lagos State’s Commissioner for Science & Technology Olufemi Odubiyi adds, “Africa Code Week is an opportunity for us to deliver leaders for tomorrow’s challenges. We need to show Africa and the rest of the world what Nigeria and, more importantly, what driven and determined African youth, can achieve. It is programmes like these that help showcase Nigeria’s game changing acts of solidarity and harmony to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, changing one country at a time while supporting growth through technology.”

Adding to Odubiyi’s comment, Lagos State’s Special Adviser on Education, Obafela Bank-Olemoh, says, “IT skills are the job currency of the future. It is not just our responsibility but also to our benefit to invest in putting African youth on the path to successful careers. Large-scale literacy initiatives, such as ACW, prove that public-private partnerships can be a strategic means to affect change. We are proud to be part of this programme”.

Africa’s working-age population is growing rapidly, but it’s estimated that less than one percent of African children leave school with basic coding skills. ACW helps shape the future workforce by sparking interest in software coding with participating youth receiving not only basic skills but also invaluable hands-on experience. The initiative provides learners from the ages of 8 – 17 with coding basics and the opportunity to program their own animations, quizzes and games. Older learners, aged 18-24, are provided an introduction to web technologies such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and SQL in order to provide them with a basic understanding of website architecture, teaching them how to develop a fully operational and mobile-friendly website.

Held from 15-23 October, ACW will provide thousands of free coding workshops and online training sessions to children and youth. The event always provides a number of ways for the public to get involved. Over and above actual attendance, opportunity exists for interested parties to host a free coding workshop, but to also receive free online training in Scratch (free software which simplifies the face of coding for youth).

The Nigeria TTT workshops will take place in Lagos on Tuesday, 27 September at the recently constructed Digital Village and Abuja on Thursday, 29 September in partnership with National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS). TTT workshops are open to all school teachers and any other parties interested in becoming part of ACW, and all attendees will receive 90 minutes of training, a USB with course notes and Scratch (coding programme) pre-loaded, T-shirts and a training certificate upon completion. To reward the efforts of the teachers involved in this initiative, the school that teaches coding to the most students will win a laptop and data projector valued at more than 176,000 NGN.
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Source: pctechmag


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