Ambassadors

Ambassadors are your local anchors for Africa Code Week event orchestration, questions and support. Feel free to reach out to them to get started on hosting your own coding workshops or simply get introduced to other interested schools / organizations. They are here to help you engage as many children and youth as possible in your community!

Julie Cleverdon
  • Julie Cleverdon (ACW Global Coordinator)
  • Director of Cape Town Science Centre
  • South Africa

Passionate about promoting science across Africa, Julie Cleverdon is the Director of the Cape Town Science Centre, based in Cape Town, South Africa. Established to stimulate curiosity, develop inquiring minds and expose children and adults to positive new experiences, the CTSC is a world of scientific discovery under one roof, with more than 250 interactive science exhibits and mind-boggling puzzles all year long.

Julie is one of the masterminds behind the Africa Code Week initiative and she is part of the Global Steering Committee. In June 2015, the CTSC was the proud host of the very first Africa Code Week pilot event, during which hundreds of teachers and children participated in the first training/coding workshops. Prior to the CTSC, Julie served as Chair on the Board of SAASTEC (Southern African Association of Science and Technology Education Centres) and she has over 15 years experience in the science communications sector in South Africa. Julie holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Natal, Pietermaritburg (now the University of Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa).


Carolina Ödman-Govender
  • Carolina Ödman-Govender
  • Chief Scientist, Thumbzup Innovations
  • South Africa

Dr. Carolina Ödman-Govender studied physics engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland before completing a Ph.D. in theoretical cosmology at the University of Cambridge in the UK. She was a Marie Curie postdoctoral researcher in Rome, Italy before joining Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands where she developed “Universe Awareness”, an international astronomy outreach and education programme for which she was awarded the 2011 Science Magazine Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE). In 2010, she joined the South African Astronomical Observatory as SKA research fellow. She became the Director of Academic Development of the AIMS Next Einstein Initiative in 2011.
 
She has consulted for UNESCO and taught at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in South Africa and is now Chief Scientist at thumbzup Innovations, a South African startup. She remains Associate Scientist with the Square Kilometre Array. Dr. Ödman-Govender has been a member of the International Astronomical Union's Commission 55 "Communicating Astronomy with the Public", the Office of Astronomy for Development Task Force "Astronomy for the Public", the South African Science Journalists' Association, the Cape Town Science Centre Advisory Committee and is a co-conspirator of ".Astronomy", a series of workshops bringing internet technologies and astronomy together. She is involved in technology outreach and has taught many introductory courses on computers, coding and technology skills. 
 
In a recent article about Africa Code Week, she said: "I will boldly claim that the best programmers will come from Africa. Why? Because if it works here, it works everywhere."


Emma Dicks
  • Emma Dicks
  • Founder, Code for Cape Town / Co-lead, Innovate
  • South Africa

Emma Dicks co-leads Innovate South Africa, a platform to ignite creative thinking, nurture invention and encourage entrepreneurship among high school learners. She also founded Code for Cape Town, a program that teaches coding and design thinking skills to high school girls and exposes them to opportunities in the IT industry. Code4CT shows young girls that coding is creative, accessible and a powerful tool for social change. She is passionate about transforming classrooms and curriculum to empower learners with 21st century skills. Emma has been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen for her contribution towards social justice in South Africa and received the Queens Young Leader Award in Buckingham Palace in June 2015. She has a degree in Business Science from UCT and has been awarded the Mazars Business Strategy award. She works with Venn, a strategic innovation consultancy, to help businesses solve problems better, and she is also the Project Lead for the development of their Human Centred Design in Africa toolkit. 
 


Ahmed Ismael-Smiley
  • Ahmed Ismael-Smiley
  • Founder of Siyafunda Community Technology Centres, Community ICT Digital Villages
  • South Africa

Social Entrepreneur and Digital Divide Transformation Enabler with over 40 years of ICT experience and community activism, Ahmed founded and opened the first Siyafunda Community Technology Centre in Palm Ridge in 2006. There are now 120 Siyafunda CTCs across the country on a mission to give all citizens access to information and communication technologies and empower them with computer competencies. The centres allows people to gather information, create, learn and communicate with others while developing essential digital skills. Siyafunda CTCs establish partnerships and relationships with multiple stakeholders - from local governments and municipalities all the way to private businesses, community based organisations, schools and universities. The focus is on the use of digital technologies to support community, economic, educational and social development – reducing isolation, bridging the digital divide, promoting health issues, creating economic opportunities and reaching out to youth. In 2011, the community hub project developed into a network of Community Knowledge Centres (CKC) providing essential skills training through affordable, accredited courses. Siyafunda CTC has been honoured with numerous awards for pioneering accessibility to digital information and communication technology. It plays an important role in building intellectual capital, developing entrepreneurs in growing economies and connecting communities globally.


Sandra Wisani Myambu
  • Wisani Sandra Myambu
  • Founder & CEO of Masana Social Innovation
  • South Africa

Sandra is the founder and CEO of Masana Social Innovations, a social enterprise working to bridge the technology skills gap, empower women and girls and accelerate social entrepreneurs' success. Masana uses technology as the ultimate enabler in the execution of all its initiatives. With various partnerships with corporaions, Sandra runs SAP Training for unemployed graduates and places them. She also run initiatives to help NGOs and Corporate Social Investment departments track and monitor their initiatives. She holds a Bachelor's of Business Administration Degree and majored in International Finance and Investments. 


Theresa Ely-Felino
  • Theresa Ely-Felino
  • Founder of the Community Project Organisation
  • South Africa

Born and raised in the Northern and educated in Cape Cape Town, Theresa founded the NPO - Community Project Organisation. As a trained Facilitator and Moderator with studies in Electrical Engineering, she loves sharing her technology skills and knowledge with children of all ages.


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