Africa has the largest and youngest workforce in the world, yet many companies present on the continent today are struggling to fill IT-related positions with local, qualified workforce. Currently, only one percent of African children leave school with basic coding skills. This is the reason why SAP and our partners launched the Africa Code Week initiative for the first time last year. Africa Code Week is a continent-wide initiative to foster digital literacy and to spark the interest of African children, teenagers and young adults in software coding.
I am proud that 89.000 young people across 17 African countries joined and received basic coding training during Africa Code Week in 2015. When I traveled to Nigeria in September, I joined a coding workshop at the Ojodu Junior Grammar School in the Ikeja Suburb of Lagos State and saw first-hand how quickly and skillfully the kids picked up the coding. I am convinced that coding is the pass to the digital world for young people in Africa.
This year we are even more ambitious. During Africa Code Week 2016, that will run from October 15 to 23, we hope to train more than 150.000 children and youth aged 8- to 24-years in 30 countries across Africa. The fact that Africa Code Week 2016 was launched today during The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, shows how meaningful this initiative has become.
SAP and hundreds of partners spanning local governments, NPOs, NGOs, educational institutions and businesses organize the train-the-trainer sessions, coding workshops and online trainings. I truly believe that there is no better way for SAP to ‘give something back’ than to equip Africa’s rising generation with job-relevant digital skills.