SAP Africa Code Week Launches in Ghana

Africa Code Week (ACW), which started in 2015 to equip parents, teachers and educators with the coding skills and teaching materials they need to train children and youth in their immediate communities, arrived back in Ghana this week.

Ghana gets SAP Africa Code WeekSAP, Dreamoval and the Ghana Education Service in Accra and Kumasi jointly organised the series of Train-The-Trainer (TTT) workshops in Accra and Kumasi. Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Education, Barbara Ayisi Acher attending the launch. The Africa Code Week delegation also met with several Ghanaian dignitaries during the course of this training week, including Ghana Vice President His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bamumia. For Vice President Bamumia, who has assured his full support to the initiative, “Africa Code Week is a powerful leverage for the public sector to wide-spread digital literacy on a nation-wide scale.”

Higher targets

Ghana also joined in 2015, engaging 730 children and youth in the first year. Last year, the Dreamoval Foundation became the implementing partner for ACW in Ghana: with its support, 590 teachers were trained as part of the Train-the-Trainer sessions and 51 710 children and youth engaged in October 2016, of which 56% were girls.

Dreamoval will be, once again, the Implementing Partner for Africa Code Week 2017 in Ghana. “We have set ourselves the target of training 800 teachers this week and 150,000 young Ghanaians from October 18- 25,” says Francis Ahene-Affoh, head of business development and marketing at Dreamoval Limited.
According to Claire Gillissen-Duval, director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and global lead for Africa Code Week, “The initiative’s effectiveness in empowering the next generation of digital economy workers in Ghana requires knowledgeable instructors who are able to provide mentorship and skills transfer to participating youngsters.”

PPP needed in digital age

This year in Ghana, SAP Business One skilled volunteers travelled from all corners of the globe, volunteering their time to roll out this series of TTT workshops. Equally critical to youth empowerment in the digital age are public-private partnerships, as Gillissen-Duval explains, “Africa Code Week relies on a fast-growing network of visionary partners, all eager to collaborate to unlock a new world of opportunities for every boy and girl across the continent. Ghana is a striking example of the far-reaching impact of collaboration and leadership on our ability to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” she concludes.

Ten-year plan

SAP Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) EMEA started Africa Code Week together with public and private sector partners, with a long-term goal of empowering more than 200 000 teachers and positively affecting the lives of 5 million children and youth within the next 10 years. So far, over half a million young Africans have been introduced to coding across 30 countries.

Africa Code Week’s key partners (SAP, UNESCO YouthMobile, the Cape Town Science Centre and the Galway Education Centre) have set new ambitious goals for 2017: impact the lives of 500,000 youth across 35 African countries over the course of an 8-day period from 18-25 October. For more information, go to www.africacodeweek.org

credit to www.bizcommunity.com

In their Jobs for Youth in Africa 2016-2025 Strategy, the African Development Bank notes: “The scale of the youth unemployment problem in Africa requires bold, ambitious approaches.” Strong partnerships are needed, it says, to bring “coherence and scale to youth employment interventions across the continent”.

But the truth is, we are destined for failure if everyone tries to go it alone. Private sector, governments, inter-governmental organizations, non-profits, individuals … now is the time to harness the power of collaboration.

Preparing Africa for the digital economy will help contribute to the Global Goals. With 11 million young Africans entering the labour market each year, Initiatives driving ICT skills development demonstrate that integrated efforts of public-private and NGO partnerships are needed to scale.

To facilitate access to ICT and bridge the digital skills gap, we have seen initiatives such as Dell’s Mobile Lab Initiative or One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) providing laptops to millions of children in developing nations. But to yield measurable gain in language and STEM scores the initiatives included more than just the hardware package. In countries like Rwanda, OLPC was driven as part of a strategic plan to foster creative uses for computers in the classroom and upskill teachers and parents in each community.

Living language, growth engine, enabler, door-opener: in the digital century, ICT has become more than the sum of its parts, and so has education.

Take Africa Code Week for example. Spearheaded by SAP and driven by a network of more than 100 partners – spanning local governments, NPOs, NGOs, educational institutions and businesses it is Africa’s biggest ICT skills development initiative. How is this possible? And why? And what role does the private sector play?

With 82,000 employees, SAP is helping more than 300,000 business, governments and non-profits run their organizations and navigate the bumpy road to digital transformation. We are uniquely positioned to work in cross sector partnerships because there is a direct link between a region’s digital adoption and its overall economic competitiveness. Making the world run better and improving people’s lives is more than a CSR strategy for SAP, it has been our core vision as a company for the past 44 years.

Think like a coder

Beyond coding skills, what Africa Code Week is imparting is the “coder’s mindset” – the very culture of innovation and creativity that will enable the young generation to turn challenges into opportunity and opportunities into prosperity for entire communities.

But can one impart what they haven’t received first? Teacher and parent empowerment is the fuel that enabled Africa Code Week to spread digital literacy to almost 90,000 youth last year and more than 426,000 this year. The snowball effect of trained educators becomes obvious by a simple look at the increased year-over-year year growth. Throughout 2016, 100 SAP skilled volunteers travelled to 30 African countries to train over 5,600 teachers, educators and parents.

Africa Code Week is fostering a sense of collaborative action that cascades all the way down to the classroom, encouraging students to become bold innovators themselves as they realize coding has a solution for every challenge out there. That’s when the school curriculum becomes relevant to both the children and the community they live in. I believe this is one of the reasons why Africa Code Week has everyone talking and all stakeholders on board: far beyond shared value, it brings shared meaning to the table. So much so that Africa Code Week is now actively supported by UNESCO through their YouthMobile initiative, and by over 10 African governments as well as the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Learn together, teach together

Africa Code Week works in perfect synergy with nations’ efforts towards reaching Goal #4 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. And many of them made ICT skills part of their national education plans. Morocco proved it again last month with over 165,000 youth introduced to coding nationwide as part of Africa Code Week 2016. This was brilliantly orchestrated by Education Minister Rachid Benmokhtar and GENIE Program Director Ilham Laaziz, who both sensed Africa Code Week was a unique leverage to accelerate and scale their vision of IT-empowered teachers and pupils.

In Morocco, South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, or Nigeria, we also witnessed massive cohorts of teachers getting trained in the run up to Africa Code Week, supported by a renewed network of collaborating government bodies, education departments, community centers, science centers, schools and local non-profits. In Ghana, the foundation of local technology company DreamOval joined Africa Code Week as it perfectly fits to their goal to improve the quality of ICT education for 170,000 teachers nationwide over the next 10 years.

The foundation’s services include the I-Teach program aiming to build capacity in ICT for teachers in underserved communities by providing access to computers and internet and introducing them to basic IT knowledge such as working with a computer, maintaining the hardware and working with office programs. iTeach includes a 5-day curriculum with a built-in multiplier concept. Participating teachers do not only acquire the knowledge themselves but through train-the-trainer sessions they also learn how to forward it to others. Only teachers who participated in train-the-trainer sessions are admitted to further advanced courses. In addition to iTeach there is DOTTS, open events that center around the knowledge driven economy and society. These events foster the understanding of the pivotal role IT plays and enables teachers to become informed role models who transfer inspiring knowledge to Africa’s next generation.

The digital revolution is moving things around us much faster than ever before and education is no exception. It is literally igniting an entire region and continent, reminding us to never underestimate the ripple effects of an empowered community where people’s thirst to serve as resources for one another is being quenched. Of course, there is still ground to be covered in several arenas, especially when it comes to providing better access to computers and internet and increasing the number of girls in information communication and technology related trades. But the right culture and partnerships have been seeded for young people’s wildest dreams to bear fruit.

Source: http://www.weforum.org

Read more: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/12/africa-teachers-digital-literacy

UNESCO Youth Mobile and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development,
SAP spread digital literacy, foster economic growth and drive social change all over Africa.
GHANA, Accra, 21 October 2016 – On Monday 17 October, SAP and DreamOval Foundation Ltd announced the launch of Africa Code Week 2016 in Ghana, ending on Friday 21 October 2016. The aim of Africa Code Week is to train 150,000 young Africans aged 8 to 15, across the continent.This year, with the participation of UNESCO’s YouthMobile Initiative and
the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as strategic partners, the nine-day event hosted over a thousand live workshops across 30 African countries as well as online courses, ranging from Scratch all the way to Web programming.
Apart from the collective target of students the initiative aims to reach in 2016, Francis Ahene -Affoh, one of the founders of the DreamOval Foundation and local Africa Code Week ambassador in Ghana, set an ambitious target to reach children in Accra: “We are determined to teach 50 000 children in Accra to code in Scratch this year.We are also determined to bring coding to schools in outlying areas even after the conclusion of the official Africa Code Week as we have not yet been able to do so.I want to see children equipped to become the bright future of business in Ghana!”

This past week, DreamOval offered free coding sessions at various schools in Ablekuma Central, Ashiedu Keteke, Ablekuma South and North, Ayawaso Central, East and West as well as Osu Klottey and remains focused on elevating the digital skills of teachers and children in other areas of Ghana too.

Founded and orchestrated by SAP in partnership with the Cape Town Science Centre and the Galway Education Centre,Africa Code Week relies on a growing network of nonprofits, government bodies, educational organizations, NGOs and corporations across the continent.And for the second year in a row ,Google Inc. supported Africa Code Week 2016 by empowering organisations across Africa with micro-grants so they could multiply computational thinking and coding activities all over Africa using Google CS First enrichment materials.

“Beyond coding as a language, we are imparting the right skills and attitudes and a culture of innovation and creativity among young Africans”, says Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director or EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and Africa Code Week Global Lead.  “Africa Code Week is also shedding light on how public-private partnerships can be renewed in the digital age for greater impact: if young Africans see that governments, nonprofits and the private sector are working as one voice to deliver on joint education priorities, trust is seeded and they feel encouraged to start owning and living their dreams,” she concludes.

In preparation for Africa Code Week 2016, SAP has deployed its own IT experts as skilled volunteers to train 6,000+teachers, parents and local volunteers throughout the year, all over Africa. These live Train-the-Trainer sessions, combined with access to online courses on the openSAP platform beyond the actual event time, enable Africa Code Week and partners to scale the impact continent-wide and in the long run. “Africa Code Week is all about mobilising the collective expertise and resources at the local level; Train-the-Trainer sessions provide a sound, scalable structure for inter-group knowledge sharing, unlocking people’s potential and desire to serve as resources for each other,” says Gillissen-Duval.

As the largest digital initiative organised on the African continent, SAP – Africa Code Week received a C4F (Communication for Future) award in the category ‘Education of the Future’ from the World Communications Forum in Davos in March 2016, as well as the Judges’ Choice Award in the Corporate Initiative Category from the MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition in September 2016.

International awards aside, the Africa Code Week initiative also hailed the praise of Mrs. Matilda, Ammissah Arthur, wife of the Vice President: “I think Africa Code Week is a brilliant idea. It not only teaches the kids how to code, but it also encourages them to be creative and find resourceful ways of solving problems.”

About DreamOval
The DreamOval Foundation manages all corporate social responsibility initiatives by DreamOval Ltd. It was set up as a legal separate entity during the first quarter of 2013 with the aim of using knowledge to create a better society in Ghana. Our aim is to bridge the knowledge gap through the creation, sharing and utilization of knowledge with Education and Technology being our key focus areas. The Foundation is funded by a percentage of DreamOval Ltd’s profit after tax which is allocated towards the Foundation’s projects.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 300,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably.

The evening began with the usual chit chats as we waited for the program to begin. Over delicious snacks and soft drinks, people bonded, created significant networks and made a couple of new friends. It is much needed after a stressful month. There’s a need to relax and just enjoy the peaceful scenery amidst brief moments of laughter and giggles. Once all was settled, Nana Asaase took to the stage.

His opening line was ‘finding my voice’ and that began a refreshing experience. He began by recounting some fond memories from his childhood that has shaped his life. He reminisced on good old days where he and his friends in the neighborhood would wake up at dawn just to play “Stay”, an indigenous Ghanaian game.

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