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New Innovations Help SAP Africa Code Week Inspire the Next Generation of African Coders

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New Innovations Help SAP Africa Code Week Inspire the Next Generation of African Coders

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, March 3, 2021 – / African Media Agency (AMA) / – SAP Africa Code Week, Africa’s largest digital skills initiative, is celebrating a successful 2020 program that included a shift to fully virtual teaching, the launch of a smartphone app, a continent-wide coding competition, and an online Train the Trainer series aimed at training teachers in critical digital teaching skills.

The 2020 program had to deal with the impact of a global pandemic that forced the closure of schools across the continent and left some 250 million young people away from physical classrooms.

Claudio Muruzabal, SAP Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) Southern Regional President and Executive Sponsor of Africa Code Week, highlights the program’s impact on enabling sustainable coding learning for Africa’s youth. “Faced with immense challenges, ACW’s thriving ecosystem of partners, ambassadors, volunteers, teachers and students strove to ensure that girls and boys across the continent could learn the critical digital skills they need to build a better future. The program’s impact on transforming digital learning at the school level further ensures that every African child has the opportunity to become an active contributor to the global digital economy. “

ACW’s vision is to encourage African governments to adopt coding in their national curricula. In a survey conducted in participating countries in 2020, nine African countries indicated that coding is part of the national curriculum, and ten more indicated that they are implementing plans to incorporate coding into their curricula. The survey also found that 87% of respondents agreed that the program plays an influential role in advancing the adoption of the coding curriculum.

Competition across the continent inspires youthful innovation

For the first time for the program, the continent-wide launch of the AfriCANCode Challenge saw youth ages 8 to 16 compete individually or in teams to imagine the ‘future of education’ through a Scratch game and a two-minute video That explains why your concept should win. More than 1,800 young people from 40 African countries participated, with the top three winners Soliyana Gizaw from Ethiopia aged 10, Kayla Esterhuizen from South Africa aged 15 and Sara Benmessai from Algeria aged 16, all three girls. recently announced.

Award ceremony to the laureates in Abuja, the Minister of State for Education, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba stated that the winners of the AfriCAN Code Challenge have shown hard work, dedication and commitment.

He revealed that the African Code Challenge aims to provide support and inspiration to interdisciplinary teams of 8-16 year old students with coding skills, using Scratch, which inspires innovative and critical thinking in students to improve their digital literacy in Nigeria.

He then praised the positive determination of the Ministry to expand the Coding and Robotics program to involve the 104 Federal Unity Universities, adding that the Ministry has just concluded the training of trainers in coding and robotics for the 104 universities.

Towards equitable access to digital learning

After switching to a fully virtual format, ACW expanded its reach from 37 countries to 54 countries on the African continent with the support of partners such as UNESCO, Irish Aid and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), which They first joined the program in 2020.

Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary of ADEA and official sponsor of ACW points out the growing need for increased teaching capacity to ensure equitable access to educational opportunities for all young people in Africa. “Seventy percent of sub-Saharan African countries face a teacher shortage, and many teachers still lack the basic tools and knowledge to teach digital skills effectively. The active support of 20 ministries of education in Africa and ongoing efforts to improve teaching skills through Train the Trainer workshops are welcome advances as the continent prepares for a new era of growth and development. “

To promote equitable access to technology learning and teaching for women and girls, the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) was established with the goal of building and fostering female leadership in education across Africa. In 2020, the program, coordinated by ACW’s founding and implementing partner, Camden Education Trust (CET), moved in line with a new continuous professional development approach that brought together 68 women from 31 countries.

Building towards continuous sustainable impact

By 2025, two-thirds of Africa’s population is expected to be using a smartphone, making mobile access to learning resources critical. The introduction of the first ACW app has extended learning and teaching beyond the classroom, with dedicated coding resources available for free in English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic on any Android device. The in-app training material was developed by program partners, including Code.org, UNESCO, MIT, and CET.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, the 2020 edition of ACW involved 1.5 million young people, of whom almost half (48%) were girls. More than 10,500 workshops were organized in 43 countries and 21,000 teachers were mobilized through virtual and face-to-face training sessions.

Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for EMEA and founder of Africa Code Week and a global leader at SAP, says the changes introduced in the 2020 program have laid the foundation for sustainable impact across the continent. “By shifting to e-learning, expanding access to teacher workshops, breaking into new territory, and inspiring young people to develop their solutions to problems in their communities through the AfriCANCode Challenge, ACW is geared to continue to play a vital role. in the future of African youth in a world forever changed by the pandemic. ”

For more information on Africa Code Week, visit www.africacodeweek.org

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