Now in its third year running in Ghana, Africa Code Week is instilling digital literacy and coding skills in the young generation to drive sustainable digital learning skills across Ghana.
The initiative was spearheaded by SAP in 2015 as part of its social investments to drive sustainable growth in Africa
What is Africa Code Week?
Africa Code Week(ACW) is a digital skills development that has benefited over 180,000 pupils and 1,500 teachers in Ghana since its inception in 2015. ACW is organised in Ghana with immense partnership from the DreamOval Foundation, the CSR arm of the Ghanaian innovative tech company DreamOval. Across Africa, ACW will not be made possible without a strong partnership with the public, private and nonprofit sectors in each country. These collaborations actively drive the initiative’s ambitious goals and ability to build community capacity in ICT education across Africa.
A number of key global partners; UNESCO, Google and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports the initiative. In Ghana. The Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service in partnership with the DreamOval Foundation are at the forefront of ACW. A total of 36 African Countries are taking part in this annual digital literacy initiative to introduce children to computer coding and enabling them to write their first line of code.
With a goal to empower 70,000+ teachers and positively impact the lives of 2 million young Africans by 2020, ACW is built to be sustainable and provide long-term impact.
When is ACW?
Students ultimately need direction from their teachers in order to learn to code. It is for this reason ACW is broadly divided into two: Train-The-Trainer and the ACW live training sessions which happen in August and October respectively. The Train-the-Trainer (TTT) sessions form a cornerstone of Africa Code Week’s sustainable impact across the continent by empowering teachers with skills and teaching materials that drive the advance of digital skills in the school curriculum. Train-The-Teacher 2018 sessions took place in Ghana from August 6-9, 2018, in Accra and Kumasi and trained a total of 750 teachers in the aforementioned regions.
In October, during Africa Code Week live sessions, thousands of free coding activities for youth aged between 8 to 16 are organised across all 36 participating African Countries.
Africa Code Week live began in Ghana on the 17th October through to the 24th of October, 2018 with a target to train up to 130,000 pupils in both Accra and Kumasi in the scratch language developed by MIT.
Francis Ahene Affoh, SVP of DreamOval Foundation and Country Ambassador for Africa Code Week, Ghana had this to say during the launch of the live sessions. ‘The transformation of our educational system will be enhanced through digital literacy session such as this to enable the youth to appreciate the impact of technology and digital literacy in the 21st century. The world has gone digital and Ghana cannot be left behind in this crucial era. This is why we encourage every teacher to participate in these live sessions to assist the children to to write their first line of code. The sessions are critical to Africa Code Week’s ambitions to go beyond raising awareness of the importance of teaching digital skills to building capacity for sustainable impact in partnership with schools and governments
Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director: West Africa at SAP Africa, echoes this sentiment. “Africa’s large and youthful working age population has the potential of transforming not only the continent but the world. As a purpose-driven organization committed to realizing the ambitions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, supporting the development of digital skills among Africa’s youth is of paramount importance. As we enter an exponential age of new technologies, digital literacy and STEM-related skills development will be key determinants of success. We are grateful to our partners in the public and private sector for their support with this year’s Africa Code Week and the associated Train-the-Trainer sessions.”
Africa Code Week 2018 ended successfully with a final training session at the Bishop Girls’ School, Accra High Street. Hon. Dr Yaw Adutwum, Deputy Minister of Education, was present at the session to observe the girls during the coding session and motivated the girls to respect their teachers and take their studies seriously. ‘The world is waiting for you and the opportunity has been given which is creating doors for you to step up.’