Coding for Social Impact: Three Ways Technology is Addressing Africa’s Challenges

The 2023 Africa Code Week comes up this October. During this period, we focus on providing access and improving the circumstances towards developing more creative and innovative coding talents. Part of the activities towards this year's code week will include question and answer sessions with notable personalities and influencers who will help highlight the value of coding in addressing various challenges in Africa.

In an increasingly interconnected world, coding has emerged as a powerful tool for driving impact and addressing serious societal challenges. The Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and official Africa Code Week Patron, Albert Nsengiyumva, believes strongly that coding and software development skills are key to addressing Africa's numerous socio-economic challenges.

This is more so in health, education, and agriculture where various technology solutions are helping improve the delivery of healthcare, access to teaching and learning, improving farming output and productivity, especially among vulnerable and under-served persons and communities. Aspiring coders must now know that their skills can help in transforming Africa's future.

According to Albert, coding is making a profound impact on healthcare. Through coding, developers create mobile platforms and applications that help to provide greater access to healthcare services and improve diagnostics. These solutions have the potential to save lives and improve the overall health outcomes of marginalised and underserved communities. Better access to healthcare would be an absolute game-changer in Africa—and as aspiring developers—you have the power to make that possible.

Conquering Africa’s digital divide: SAP Africa Code Week empowers 2.6 million youth in 2022

An estimated 230 million jobs in sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills in 2030, according to a report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). One programme supporting young Africans to take advantage of these opportunities is the continent's biggest youth digital skills initiative, SAP Africa Code Week (ACW) which actively engaged +2,6 million participants in 2022, by equipping them with 21st-century skills. "Since ACW's launch in 2015, SAP, UNESCO, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and Irish Aid share a common goal to empower young people with the digital skills set they need today to ensure they are prepared for the workforce of tomorrow," comments Claire Gillissen-Duval, Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility EMEA and MEE at SAP.

She says that through 37 121 workshops held across the continent, she is thrilled to report that more than 48% of participants were female, with an additional 9,900 youth with special needs. "Today's digital world is continually evolving and changing through the rapid adoption of technology, this is widening Africa's digital divide with even more marginalized and underserved communities getting left behind."

Collaboration is key to powering digital learning

Partnerships are at the core of the SAP ACW model. In 2022, Morocco has led the continent's conversation around equipping young people with digital skills, followed by Nigeria and Cameroon. "This year, we saw 1,4 million participants from Morocco, 100 000 in Nigeria, and in Cameroon, we had 897 000," says Dr. Tawfik Jelassi, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information. "One of the reasons behind the major success of ACW in those countries, and especially in Morocco, has been partnering with the governments and particularly, with the Ministries of Education. To illustrate this, Ilham Laaziz, Director of the GENIE program at the Moroccan The Ministry of National Education, Early Education, and Athletics, highlights that the Moroccan government has deployed several initiatives to integrate digital skills in schools. "Joining forces with the private sector has proven to result in a powerful synergy. Beyond launching a generation of future coders, we seek to develop the algorithmic mindset that will enable them to acquire logical reasoning skills and problem-solving skills they need to lead successful careers and contribute to the development of our country – and our continent."

African Governments and Ministries Unpack Africa’s Digital Literacy Agenda

In November 2022, Africa Code Week invited various government officials and education representatives from five African countries to gather in Morocco. The three-day conference was filled with discussions and constructive suggestions on how to possibly include digital literacy in Africa's schooling system through the national curricula. Currently, nine African countries have officially adopted coding as a mandatory subject in public education.

Governments to get more involved in upskilling young citizens

Hosted by SAP Africa Code Week (ACW), in partnership with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the three-day event marked the start of a two-year transition period. This will see governments play an even greater role in fostering the adoption of coding in their countries' schools by running the ACW program as part of their curricula.

"Over the past seven years, close to 12 million young people from 48 countries have been empowered with digital skills through their participation in ACW," said Claire Gillissen-Duval, Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility EMEA and MEE at SAP. "But the continent is still burdened by a massive digital skills gap, which according to the World Economic Forum, is diluting economic opportunities and development. One only needs to consider the 230 million jobs across the continent that will require some level of digital skills by 2030ii. Now is the time for us to invite African leaders to join us in equipping youth at a greater scale."

Technology Combined with Creativity and Innovation is a Recipe for Success

Last week we celebrated World Creativity and Innovation Day, which is observed annually on 21 April. Launched by the United Nations, the aim is to encourage the world to embrace innovation to harness the economic potential of nations. This could be through job creation as well as expanding opportunities for everyone, including women and youth.

Innovation can provide solutions to some of the most pressing problems, such as poverty eradication and the elimination of hunger. At Africa Code Week (ACW), we recognise that through creativity and innovation, we can ensure African Youth and teachers are equipped for the jobs of the 21st century.

"This is why ACW encourages creativity and innovation through technology," explains Olajide Ademola Ajayi, ACW's Global Coordinator. "Africa's Technology industry is estimated to be worth $4.77 billion and is expected to double in growth by 2030 with the youth population driving this trend."

The proof is in the pudding: ACW results speak for themselves

ACW Announces 2022 AfriCAN Code Challenge Winners

For the third consecutive year, Africa Code Week's AfriCAN Code Challenge (ACC) continues to grow in popularity and reach. The winner of this year's ACC 2022 edition was handed to the Ravinalo Project developed by Henintsoa, Warren and Shekinah from Madagascar.

"From start to finish, this has been one of the most exciting editions of ACC. The youth of Africa have yet again proven their talents and strong 21st century skillset with creative and conceptual games delivered," says Olajide Ademola Ajayi, SAP ACW Global Coordinator.

AfriCAN Youth rise for the coding challenge

The AfriCAN Code Challenge is a coding contest that spans across Africa, inviting all-young individuals from different walks of life from 8 - 16 year to develop a game using the Scratch programming language.

ACW Joins the Cameroonian National Youth Day March

To commemorate Cameroon's annual Youth Day on 11 February 2023, thousands of young people took to the streets to celebrate through parades, cultural dances, singing, and sporting events. As part of the festivities, over 100 young people marched across two different locations, Yaounde and Maroua, carrying the Africa Code Week (ACW) banner.

"Every year, we use this day to honour all the young people in Cameroon and embrace the importance of education," says Jérôme Monteu Nana, ACW Ambassador. "ACW has played a critical part in advancing our education system as well as empowering and equipping young Cameroonians with the skills they will need for the future. By carrying this banner, not only do we shine a spotlight on ACW, but we also remind young people that more work can be done when we all join hands and collaborate." The importance of equipping young people with digital skills in Cameroon

Recent figures suggest that the youth unemployment rate in Cameroon has remained nearly unchanged at around 6.64 percent for over two years. However, according to projections, Africa's digital economy will reach $180 billion by 2025 and $712 billion by 2050.

Commenting on the job opportunities created by digital advancements, Claire Gillissen-Duval, Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility EMEA MEE at SAP and co-founder of ACW says that Cameroon cannot afford to have young people missing out due to the lack of necessary skills for the digital economy.

6 ACW ambassadors selected for the Scratch Education Collaborative program

Africa Code Week is proud to announce that not one, but six ACW ambassadors and implementing partners have been selected to join an education and development program by the world's largest free coding platform, Scratch. Siyafunda Community Technology Centre (South Africa), Girls in STEM Trust (Zimbabwe), MindSet Coders (Uganda), Creativity Lab (Rwanda), OIC Foundation (Nigeria), and Webfala Digital Skills for all Initiative (Nigeria) are part of the 91 other organisations from across the globe joining the 2022-2024 Scratch Education Collaborative program (SEC).

The program will include a series of collaborative learning experiences co-developed and co-facilitated by Scratch and partner organizations. Over a period of two years, the organisations will work to create a self-sustaining community of practice and establish models for equity-centred creative coding resources.

Bridging the skills gap in Africa

"Africa is burdened by a massive digital skills gap, which according to the World Economic Forum, is diluting economic opportunities and development. ACW and its partners cannot close this gap alone," says Olajide Ademola Ajayi, Africa Code Week's Global Coordinator. "Collaboration is key and seeing ACW ambassadors nominated to join such a big global program means we could accelerate closing Africa's digital skills gap faster."

Empowering Female Teachers to Lead Africa’s Digital Revolution

ACW's Women Empowerment Program - Empowering Female Teachers to Lead Africa's Digital Revolution

Back by popular demand, Semester 2 of Africa Code Week's Women Empowerment Program (WEP) officially kicked off this October. This Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program equips African female teachers and educators in Computer Science and STEM with the skills and knowledge they need to successfully teach, inspire, mentor, and prepare girls for tomorrow's tech workplace. The WEP thereby supports ACW's ambitious plans to transform the continent's education system by including digital literacy in national curricula – in line with the work of UN SDGs 4, 5 and 17.

Female teachers' role has never been greater.

Research suggests that female teachers increase girls' test scores and their likelihood of staying in school. Beyond academics, female teachers can also heighten girls' aspirations and lower their likelihood of being subject to violence. The WEP was first launched in 2019 by SAP, UNESCO, Irish Aid, the Moroccan Ministry of National Education, and Camden education as a joint response to bridge the digital gender gap and related pressing issues across Africa. The program actively supports female teachers on their leadership and mentoring journey while providing a safe learning platform for them to explore current barriers to girls' education. They also develop innovative ideas to overcome these barriers, honing a wide array of tools and skills along the way - from Design Thinking and storytelling all the way to animation and digital tools.

5 Minutes with Africa Code Week Global Coordinator, Olajide Ademola Ajayi

  • ACW Team |
  • 18 August |

Passionate about making coding and digital literacy accessible to young people on the African continent, Olajide Ademola Ajayi (aka: 'Ade') is not only Africa Code Week's Global Coordinator, but also the founder of CODERINA, an NGO working to promote and strengthen coding and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills acquisition among African students and teachers. This is in addition to being involved in several STEM /coding initiatives and his day job as a Product Support Leader at SAP.

He says, "I believe in the power of coding to foster the rise of a skilled, job-ready and business-savvy generation, ready to tackle today's and tomorrow's challenges."

We sat down with him to unpack why digital skills are crucial for 2022 and beyond:

What is the current landscape when it comes to tech skills in Africa and what opportunities does it offer for children?

5 minutes with Jokkolabs’ Fatoumata (Fatim) Niang Niox

Jokkolabs: 8 hubs for digital innovation in West Africa

Did you know that Jokkolabs is a pioneer in open innovation, digital transformation and social entrepreneurship in Africa, and works to structure an ecosystem where collaborative dynamics bring about change? Its vision is to create a digital innovation ecosystem, leading to new ways of collaborating, experimenting and creating with the aim of achieving shared prosperity. There are 8 Jokkolabs hubs located in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Gambia, Senegal, Cameroon, France, and Burkina Faso.

Since 2018, Jokkolabs Executive Director, Fatim, has served as Africa Code Week (ACW)'s Francophone Africa coordinator, helping to build capacity in communities to expand digital education across the continent and equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. We sat down with her to discuss her ACW experience.

Could you please outline the role Jokkolabs plays in the Africa Code Week initiative?

Five Minutes with ACW Patron, Albert Nsengiyumva

Albert Nsengiyumva from the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) shares his thoughts on the past two years of Africa Code Week and the role digital skills play in preparing African youth for the future

What do you love about Africa Code Week?

I love how the program is free to learners and teachers across Africa and that it offers them an opportunity to enhance their digital skills. Coding and computational thinking are so important for Africa's youth. Without them, young people won't be ready for the jobs of the future in which humans will work alongside machines through artificial intelligence. One of the other things I love about Africa Code Week is its focus improving digital education for girls. What role does ADEA play?

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) partnered with Africa Code Week in 2020, joining UNESCO and Irish Aid to provide the expertise and government relations. As the Executive Secretary of ADEA and official ACW Patron, I see our role as fighting for quality, inclusive education in Africa that is relevant to the needs of business and industry in the 21st century. How is Africa Code Week helping prepare children across the continent for the future?

SAP Africa Code Week Kicks off Fifth Women Empowerment Program

Back by popular demand, our Africa Code Week Women Empowerment Program continues to grow in acclaim and success. Since 2019, this unique Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program has been equipping African female educators with the skills and knowledge they need to successfully teach, inspire and prepare girls for tomorrow's tech workplace.

Our aim is to close the digital gender gap and help ensure that everyone plays a role in shaping Africa's future in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To do this, we bring together teachers to foster an educational, collaborative, and innovative environment that supports the Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health and Well-being), 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

Research captures evidence of panellists sharing digital expertise, and Research provides evidence of the use of the event / workshop methodology and group work to support educators address 'health, community, education, technology and policy' barriers to girls education, with educators using the program as a platform to amplify their stories and experiences.

Improving digital skills one teacher at a time

Meet our AfriCAN Code Challenge 2021 winners

Returning for the second year, the Africa Code Week AfriCAN Code Challenge presents their top 10 winners with Devansh and Darshika from Mauritius as the Pan-African competition winners!

An annual celebration of coding throughout Africa

The AfriCAN Code Challenge is a pan-African coding competition where youth aged 8 - 16 were tasked with coding a game using the Scratch programming language to address the theme that was determined by the Africa Code Week team. This competition was launched by SAP Africa Code Week and partners UNESCO, Irish Aid and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) in September 2020, and since then has become an annual celebration of youth and innovation in Africa.

The rationale for chosing this year's superheroe theme was to allow children to unleash their creativity and express themselves freely on issues they feel are important to them. Davide Storti, Coordinator of the YouthMobile Initiative at UNESCO, says: "The post-pandemic education recovery starts with allowing our children to regain confidence and hope, and with us adults reopening spaces, although virtual, for them to access their fullest potential."

5 Reasons to Download the Africa Code Week App

Calling all coding enthusiasts: did you know that more children in Africa are likely to have access to a smart phone than a computer? Here's five reasons to download the Africa Code Week app and put those 21st century skills to practice!

Boost digital skills

The ACW app allows you to progress your skillset according to your ability and level. Available in 4 languages (English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic) with more than 30 coding lessons based on MIT's Scratch, the app is accessible for all to improve their digital knowledge.

Prepare for 21st century jobs

Africa Code Week’ AfriCAN Code Challenge 2021 TOP 20 is announced!

Returning for a second edition, the AfriCAN Code Challenge is a pan-African coding competition where youth aged 8 to 16 were tasked with coding a game using the Scratch programming language to show how they would change the world with their superpowers. Youth were able to enter alone or in teams of up to five people, tapping into a wide range of essential skills from problem-solving and coding all the way to teamwork and communications. Each entry had to include a three-minute YouTube video showing how the game works and why it should win.

In total, 40 countries participated, with over 100 project videos submitted. The top three entries from 36 countries made it into the continental final, with 20 projects making it to the final judging stage!


De retour pour la deuxième édition, l'AfriCAN Code Challenge est un concours de codage pour les jeunes de 8 à 16 ans. Leur mission : programmer un jeu en utilisant le langage de programmation Scratch sur le thème : « Change le monde avec tes super pouvoirs ! » Les jeunes pouvaient participer seuls ou en équipes de cinq personnes maximums, en faisant appel à un large éventail de compétences essentielles - de la résolution de problèmes à la programmation en passant par le travail d'équipe et la communication. Chaque participation devait inclure une vidéo YouTube de trois minutes montrant le fonctionnement du jeu.

Ghana teachers embrace digital learning

Despite the dual challenges of low internet penetration and a switch to virtual teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers in Ghana have embraced the opportunity to learn 21st century digital teaching skills during this year's Africa Code Week Train-the-Trainer campaign.

Ghana's population growth: a challenge and an opportunity

Ghana has a fast-growing population that more than doubled from 14.2 million people in 1989 to 28.8 million people in 2017. Nearly 39% of the population is under the age of 15, a demographic dividend that the Ghanaian government aims to harness through improved education opportunities for all its youth.

Speaking at the launch of last year's Train-the-Trainer activities in Ghana, Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Yaw Adutwum, said: "Coding is not just a skill. It's a different way of teaching and a different way of learning that puts the student at the centre of the learning process."

Africa Code Week lights spark of digital literacy in North Africa

Despite Covid-disruption, SAP Africa Code Week hosts Train-the-Trainer sessions in Libya, Mauritania with educators showing strong interest in digital literacy Collaboration with Ministries of Education aimed at building sustainable skills development capacity

Digital literacy amidst conflict and pandemic

Two countries in the north of Africa affected by recent or ongoing conflict may be turning the corner on digital skills development for youth and teachers in 2021. Despite the challenges with internet access, lack of access to technology and ongoing conflict, interest in digital skills is high among learners and teachers alike in both Libya and Mauritania.

Dorsaf Benna Chelly, SAP Africa Code Week coordinator in North Africa, is upbeat about the interest shown by educators – including the Ministries of Education – in both countries.

AfriCAN Code Challenge: DreamOval Foundation Honours Deserving Pupils

The DreamOval Foundation in partnership with SAP, UNESCO YouthMobile, and Irish Aid, organized an inspiring award ceremony last week for Ghanaian students who have played an active part in this year's Africa Code Week (ACW) AfriCAN Code Challenge competition.

The event was a joyful ceremony involving school authorities, Metropolitan assembly officials, chiefs, and parents from the winning school to showcase the hard work and efforts of local youth in line with the Government's agenda towards improving 21st century learning. Prizes included laptops, tablets, mobile handsets, and book vouchers and were handed to country winners from Nii Boye Town SDA Basic School, Martyrs of Uganda and Accra, and Sweet Code.

Ghanean students rise above Covid challenges

Speaking about the awards ceremony, Francis Ahene-Affoh from DreamOval adds, "Despite the global pandemic and today's disruptions to learning, Ghana received both innovative and creative competition entries. We selected the best three to represent our country for the continental challenge and look forward to seeing our local talent showcased with Africa's top students."

AfriCAN Code Challenge Winners: All Female TOP 3 use Tech to Change the Future of Education

Version française ci-dessous

After a rigorous round of judging for this year's AfriCAN Code Challenge, SAP Africa Code Week's top 10 winners were announced and special highlights include the top 3 being all-female, aged 10 - 16 years, with Soliyana, 10 years old from Ethiopia as the Pan-African winner of the competition.

"Despite the COVID disruption for schools which impacted hundreds of millions of youth across Africa, children from more than 54 countries stepped-up to share their vision of the future of education," says Africa Code Week's Global Coordinator, Olajide Ademola Ajayi.

Ajayi continues to say that the youth engagement throughout the challenge was incredibly inspiring, "While there can ultimately be only one winner, the quality of entries at the inaugural AfriCAN Code Challenge encouraged hope and confidence for Africa's future, shaped by the largest youth population in the world."

AfriCAN Code Challenge: Congratulations to the 22 Finalists! / Félicitations au 22 finalistes!

Launched by SAP Africa Code Week for the first time this year, the AfriCAN Code Challenge is a pan-African coding competition where youth aged 8 to 16 were tasked with coding a game using the Scratch programming language to answer the question: "How will your tech change the future of education?" Youth were able to enter alone or in teams of up to five people, tapping into a wide range of essential skills from problem-solving and coding all the way to teamwork and communications. Each entry had to include a two-minute YouTube video showing how the game works and why it should win.

Bezalel Magede to represent Rwanda in the pan-African finals

In total, 40 countries participated, with over 100 project videos submitted. The top three entries from 36 countries made it into the continental final, with 22 projects making it to the final judging stage! According to Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility and Co-founder of Africa Code Week at SAP, "African youth are highly creative and community-oriented, and have a key role to play in building a safer and better future for the continent. By encouraging learners to innovate at an early age, we hope to inspire them to become change-makers and help find solutions to challenges in their communities, nations and beyond."


ACW’s Women Empowerment Workshop returns, virtually

Teaching really is a work of heart, and this year's Africa Code Week Women Empowerment Workshop couldn't be better suited. The first pilot program officially commenced last year, and little did the organisers know what a great success it would be. This year, the Women Empowerment Workshop returns for its second edition and will host more than 70 women from across Africa.

Organized by SAP, UNESCO, Irish Aid and the Moroccan Ministry of National Education the unique digital event will provide female teachers with the opportunity to meet, collaborate and connect on best teaching practices and new 21st century skills. The Women Empowerment Workshop will also provide a space for teachers to discuss online learning and gain understanding of the issues related to virtual classrooms; such as cyberbullying and internet safety.

Taking place from November, seven interactive workshops will be scheduled each week and highlight different themes and topics relevant to Africa Code Week's key enabler. Fun, engaging and collaborative, expert speakers will present in both English and French.

With 1 out of 3 children missing out on remote learning because of today's unprecedented challenges, the role of the teacher in community-based societies is central and reinforcing teacher leadership is crucial. Adding to the importance of advancing women in today's modern teaching space, Africa Code Week Co-founder and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at SAP EMEA, Claire Gillissen-Duval adds, "We are incredibly excited to welcome our second edition of the Women Empowerment Workshops! Last year's pilot program was a great success and we received positive feedback from all participants. Through our webinar series, we aim to close the digital gender gap and help ensure everyone can play a role in shaping Africa's future in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)."

ACW 2019: SAP & Google partnership sees funding of 55 nonprofit organisations across 18 countries

(Version française ci-dessous)

Joining forces with SAP as part of Africa Code Week (ACW) for the fourth year running, Google is expanding opportunities for youth to learn critical digital literacy and coding skills through the funding of 55 non-profit partners in 18 countries. The partnership sees Google supporting the SAP-led Africa Code Week by making available micro grants that empower local non-profits to increase their impact during this year's ACW.

The awarding of the 'Grow with Google' micro grants form part of Google's commitment to preparing 10 million people in Africa for the future workplace. Since the start of the partnership with SAP in 2016, Google micro grants have enabled 154 organisations across 18 countries to bring digital literacy and coding skills to more than 200 000 youth, with the micro grants acting as important catalysts in expanding access to ACW workshops to more youth. The far-reaching impact of Google grants over the past few years speaks volumes about the importance of public-private partnerships on capacity-building strategies in the digital era.

"In our ambition to train 10 millions Africans in digital skills by 2022, partnering with SAP and UNESCO on Africa Code Week is highly strategic," says Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Head of Google Brand and Reputation in Africa. "The goal of this is to help the next generation learn and develop the skills to be safe and successful online. As part of this effort, investing in Africa Code Week, spearheaded by SAP, enables us to contribute to young students being able to create with technology and bring coding and digital literacy to everybody in a fun and engaging way. We are thrilled to see this program grow from year to year thanks to the excellent work of the local organizations we support."

Young Ghanaian Innovator Shows Africa’s Future Lies in its Talented Youth

Self-taught coder develops model for diagnosing breast cancer; looks to solve some of the continent's biggest challenges and inspires youth across the continent as Africa Code Week Youth Ambassador for 2019.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — July 1, 2019 — "It takes a village to raise a child": as the Fourth Industrial Revolution sweeps across Africa and more of its youth develop coding and other digital skills, there may come a time to update this old saying to: "It takes one child to raise the prospects of a village." And based on the quest of one young man from a village in Ghana to solve some of the major problems faced by his community, this saying could become commonplace as more young innovators enter the fray.

Inspired by global technology success stories, Mustapha Diyaol Haqq, a 19-year-old from Kumasi in Southern Ghana, realised he too could deliver innovation where it was most needed, starting with his very home town. "Seeing how the big tech companies used innovation to solve some of the world's biggest problems made me realise how important it is to learn to code," says Haqq. "I looked online for any free courses that could help me develop coding skills and completed as many as I could."

> Continue to story on SAP News

BMZ multiplied digital skills training for women and girls as part of Africa Code Week 2018

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports Africa Code Week for third consecutive year.

"Where women and girls are able to change their opportunities and perspectives through ICT, their empowerment affects a wide range of outcomes, from ending poverty, to improving education and health, to agricultural productivity, and creating decent jobs*." With 90% of future jobs requiring ICT skills, now is the time for private and public partners to join forces like never before so that SDG #5 on gender equality can be met by 2030.

Kenya South Africa Ghana

As current research by Accenture suggests, sparking the interest of girls at an early stage on their educational pathway and sustaining their interest in computer coding is a key challenge for teachers – hence the pressing need to support them at the grassroot level.

Google funds 53 nonprofit organisations across 11 countries in the run-up to Africa Code Week 2018

For the third year in a row, Google is supporting SAP Africa Code Week (ACW) as part of its own commitment to preparing 10 million people in Africa for tomorrow's workplace. During ACW 2016 and 2017, Google micro grants had already enabled 90 organizations across 10 African countries to expose 100,000+ youth to computer science (CS) and coding.

Joining forces again with SAP and ACW key partners in 2018 to build community capacity in ICT education across the entire African continent, Google has funded 53 organizations and grassroots groups across 11 countries. Grants awarded specifically supported the rollout of training sessions for thousands of teachers and actual CS and coding workshops for over 100,000 students during ACW 2018.

The far-reaching impact of Google grants over the past few years speaks volumes about the importance of public-private partnerships on capacity-building strategies in the digital era. Launched in 2015 by SAP, the initiative is now actively supported by UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), 28 African governments, over 130 partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

Below you will find the list of Google grant recipients as part of Africa Code Week 2018, along with their respective stories at the time of thei grant application.

Google is thrilled to support 60 orgs in 10 African countries inspiring 83,000 students in #CS!

  • Obum Ekeke, Google Head of Computer Science Education Programs - UK & Africa |
  • 17 October |

Google is supporting Africa Code Week (Oct 18-25) by offering sponsorships to 60 community organizations in 10 African countries running initiatives to expose over 83,000 students to computer science.

Google sponsors 60 Africa Code Week projects that introduce students to computer science Across Africa, digital skills are becoming essential to successful careers and to Africa's future growth. Yet, despite the growing importance of having computer science skills there are not enough students who have access to opportunities to develop the technical skills they'll need to be successful in the 21st century. This is a topic that Google cares deeply about, and that's why we are offering sponsorships again this year to organisations running initiatives to introduce students to computer science during Africa Code Week 2017.

We received almost 300 applications from all across Africa which made it a tough selection process. Ultimately we were able to fund 60 initiatives, exposing 83,810 students to computer science across 10 countries. We are excited to see enthusiasm around inspiring students in computer science and to support these great efforts.

Congratulations to the community organisations listed below! We hope to see lots of follow up activities to keep Africa Code Week's momentum going!

Congratulations to Africa Code Week Google ​Micro Grant 2016 Beneficiaries!

And a special tribute and thank you to Google for supporting Africa Code Week again this year, empowering organisations across Africa with micro-grants so they can multiply computational thinking and coding activities all over Africa using Google CS First enrichment materials.

Félicitations aux bénéficiaires des micro-subventions accordées par Google pour l'édition 2016 d'Africa Code Week ! Tous nos remerciements à notre partenaire Google qui soutient l'initiative pour la deuxième année consécutive. Ces micro-subventions permettent à des dizaines de structures d'organiser des ateliers de pensée computationnelle et de programmation à travers toute l'Afrique par le biais des supports pédagogiques Google CS First.

Organisation Name

Organisation Country

Son cheval de bataille est un pur sang et les enfants marocains sont tous un peu les siens.

En janvier dernier, Ilham laaziz, Directrice du c, recevait des mains de Franck Cohen, Président de SAP EMEA & MEE, le 1er prix Africa Code Week. Et pour cause : 33000 jeunes Marocains venaient d'écrire leurs premières lignes de code dans le cadre d' Africa Code Week Maroc 2015, grâce à l'implication active de nos ambassadeurs et au soutien sans faille du Ministre et des ses équipes de choc. Alors ce petit mot, c'est pour nous l'occasion de saluer Ilham et à travers elle, tous ceux qui travaillent dans l'ombre, le jour et parfois aussi la nuit, pour que le programme touche un maximum de jeunes.

Tout au long de l'année, Ilham remue ciel et terre pour multiplier les formations, afin que tous les enseignants soient formés sur Scratch et qu'ils puissent à leur tour l'enseigner à leurs élèves et susciter des vocations par milliers dans les écoles marocaines. Nul doute qu'Ilham est une source d'inspiration pour de nombreuses jeunes femmes, tant son leadership fait corps avec le feu qui l'anime : celui de la transmission du savoir à l'heure du numérique. Son cheval de bataille est un pur sang et les enfants marocains sont tous un peu les siens. Aucune contingence ne saurait l'éloigner de son but : permettre à tous les jeunes du pays, des milieux urbains et ruraux, d'écrire le scénario de l'Histoire dont ils sont les héros. Ilham, du fond du coeur, nous te disons merci.

Underneath Every Smiling Kid… a Loving Woman.

Director of CSR EMEA at SAP & Global Lead for Africa Code Week: most of you know her job titles's time you knew the woman and the story behind the words. Africa Code Week was born in the warmth of Claire Gillissen-Duval's beating heart on a chilly November evening of twenty-fifteen. She and Bernard Kirk, Director of the Galway Education Centre, were reflecting on the success of Europe Code Week over a cup of hot chocolate. All could have remained quiet and still, but Claire couldn't keep it to herself any longer: "Bernard, I know it sounds crazy, but I'll be straight to the point: I want the same Code Week but bigger, bolder, better…in Africa. Do you want to be part of the adventure?"

Of course he did, and so did Sunil Geness (Director of Government Relations & CSR for SAP Africa) and Julie Cleverdon (Director of the Cape Town Science Centre). The foursome have been breathing, thinking and living Africa Code Week ever since. Blame it on their unshakable joy to serve, but there's no mountain high enough for this dream team.

Claire is probably falling asleep in yet another plane as we speak, gazing at the horizon of her very own dream: empower 5 million young Africans with coding skills over the next 10 years. Carefully wrapped in her cabin luggage is Award #2 for SAP - Africa Code Week this year: the prestigious IIC Judges' Choice Award she just received from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Based in Paris, Claire has been working with SAP for the past 8 years. This "dream team machine" knows a great team member when she sees one, and should a sentence ever get close enough to describing her, Bill Johnson's would probably fit: "You know you have a renewed mind when the impossible starts to feel logical."

Coding in Botswana: Reaching into the heart of Africa

Over many action-packed decades, I have been lucky enough to have been part of some wonderful science technology educational initiatives; to have meet some inspirational heroic individuals; to have experienced fascinating peoples, cultures and places; to have been involved in many campaigns designed to improve the lives of grassroots communities, overcome discrimination and protect the environment. But Africa Code Week (ACW) truly stands out as a one-in-a-million lifetime opportunity to make a difference to people's lives on a vast scale. Its ambitious vision is nothing less than to up-skill the young generation of a whole continent in order to allow them create a better future. So over the last year I have been to Ethiopia, South Africa, Rwanda and Botswana with more countries to follow. Every trip fascinates me, every experience thrills me, every landscape excites me, every culture encountered energizes me. In the process I always learn more from the peoples I educate than they do from me.

For instance on our present trip to Botswana, I and our ACW team were, thanks to the facilitation of local organiser Mooketsi Bennedict Tekere, given the opportunity to travel to the rural village of Mathangwane to meet the local chief and village council ('Kgotla') in order to explain and debate the merits of our programme. We were greeted with warmth and affection in the traditional African vibrant way, and we explained our mission to support local village development and enhance indigenous culture through exploiting web technologies. Chief (Kgosi) Lewanika Mpatane and two members of the 'Kgotla' expressed interest in being taught the basics of coding. The chief is a very cultured man who speaks many languages. His assistant Kennie (Lady K) has obtained a Commerce degree from Monash university in South Africa. But with limited infrastructure, low electrical connectivity, high emigration and rudiments of education, they were fully cognisant of the benefits of digital creativity. So under the shade of a giant tree - the traditional meeting place for an African 'Kgotla'- the chief and two volunteers from the village development council started coding eco-themed programs.

We believe that Kgosi Mpatane is the first traditional rural chief in Africa to learn coding. So impressed was he by what he was able to achieve in such a short time frame that he promised to spread the word to his fellow chiefs across Botswana. Huge thanks goes out to Claire Gillissen, Julie Cleverdon, Bernard Kirk, Kevin Conroy, Ibrahim Khafagy, Aphrodice Foyo Mutangana, Mooktsi Bennedict Tekere and the army of volunteers (including Ian MacDonald, Stefan Alexandru Florea, Nuala Allen, Véronique Desegaulx Kevin Morrissey Nshuti Gacinya Olivier, Hervé Rurangwa) involved. ACW is bringing digital literacy and skills as well as the potential of new sustainable jobs to the youth and communities across the length and breath of Africa. The continent has a lot of challenges to overcome- unprecedented population growth, unplanned urbanisation, deforestation, habitat loss, extermination of species, pollution, ethnic conflicts, corruption, neo-colonialism and disparity of wealth distribution. But I know that education, especially in technology, can empower societies. Furthermore I have seen how Africa can teach the rest of the world how to do things better. Their indigenous music can be infectious; their traditional sense of community values totally uplifting. Let's remember Rwanda: in a nation that suffered from one of the worst genocides of the 20th century only two decades ago, strategies in grassroots development, conflict resolution, the introduction of local justice into the legal system and environmental protection are shining examples for us all to follow.

Africa Code Week - Bridging the Digital Skills Gap in Africa

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.

News from space… / Des nouvelles de l’espace…

Our ambassador in orbit just confirmed the news: Africa Code Week can now be seen from space :-)

Notre reporter en apesanteur vient de confirmer la nouvelle : ‪#‎AfricaCodeWeek‬ est désormais visible depuis l'espace :-)


Emma, Tazmane and Kiara discuss Africa Code Week with Samora Mangesi on SABC 2! Share YOUR amazing apps with us on Twitter with ‪#‎MyTalent‬!

Another great article highlights how STEMbees, an organization founded by MEST alumni, coordinated the training and mentoring of 30 high school girls in Korle Gonno, a low-income community in Accra, Ghana. Truly inspiring.

"When it comes to what you do, you have to have a strong why. Why do I want to do that? And if your why is strong enough it will help you to keep on. My why is that I always remember that there is a kid out there who will not have access to the internet. So I must do what I can to help." Regina Kgatle, Electrical & Computer Engineering final year student, founder of Educade and, tells us more about the Technovation Challenge.

Way to code, girls!

What if your child was one of them?

Human beings tend to be afraid of first times. Most of us fear the unknown and what may happen if we get out of our family's comfort zone. Sometimes, we'd like to stop evolution, especially the technological one. Truth is, it's easier not to have any expectation...simply because we won't be disappointed. And we stick to this way of thinking concerning our children. But we often forget that we should have high hopes about their education.

Over the past month, I have been busy working on ways to improve malagasy children's education. I started going to bed later and later at night, busy as I was trying to handpick the most playful yet powerful educational content and tools from the Internet. I found were great teaching games created by adults for kids...until something even greater happened: I found out there was a Coder Dojo, here, in Antananarivo.

So I decided to go there on a Saturday morning to quench my curiosity and the fact that I didn't know a thing about coding. And I must admit: I didn't have high expectations...yet I was in for a big surprise. It was fantastic. Not the biggest room on earth, not the best computers either, no the most academic savvy kids. Just a simple room with cool ninjas painted all over the walls, good old computers, cute kids and humble teachers. Children are aged between 7 and 17, and here they are, learning how to code. Isn't that amazing? Coding kids. Smiling faces.

Africa Code Week started on October 1st. And today is World Teacher Day. By writing my first article about education, I want to celebrate my country, its teachers, coders and Coder Dojos. For they are giving our children a chance to get in touch with education, advanced technology and innovation. This is a wonderful space for kids to learn, create and share freely. Somehow, this is education at its very best: teaching a kid how to create something that will participate to another kid's education.

Why Africa Code Week matters

As the South African Heritage Month comes to a close, we look at where we come from, our history both proud and sore. And then we braai because there is nothing we can do about it.

But what we can do is influence what will be celebrated in future heritage months. In the busy business of life, we tend to forget that what we do every day is build the heritage that future generations will look back on. And we can at least try to make them proud. We can work hard to realise all the potential that we have, because if there is something most of us agree on, it is that South Africa has huge potential.

What does a realised potential mean? One thing we are working on is to join a knowledge-based economy and detach ourselves from the dependence on physical resources. Physical resources have a value — the value fluctuates, sure, but it doesn't scale. When we run out, we run out. Not the best way to create value locally. Also, once we have exported our iron ore and other resources, we remain on the fringes of the global supply chain, which results in expensive imports. Add to that a weak currency and, well…

Ideas generated in human minds that solve problems, however, "virtual resources" and their implementation create not only value and scale, they create ecosystems where even more value can be created. The internet is the perfect example. And what underlies the internet and its billions of real dollars of virtual services? Code, mostly. We always need people who can code. They can create the platforms and the environments where the domestic-owned value creation can happen.

Togo: Madame La Ministre Cina Lawson rend visite aux formateurs Africa Code Week !

Madame la Ministre Cina Lawson a rendu visite aux animateurs Africa Code Week lors de l'atelier de formation organisé le 14 septembre à Lomé au Togo : "je compte sur vous pour montrer aux jeunes que coder n'est pas difficile et peut être 'fun' !"

Quelques jours plus tôt, la Ministre des Postes et de l'Economie Numérique faisait la une de la presse au Togo, annonçant qu'elle souhaitait "faire des enfants togolais de futurs génies en programmation informatique."

Lors de l'atelier du 14 septembre, les formateurs de l'entreprise SAP ont pu former 80 animateurs togolais qui se préparent maintenant pour le grand jour, lorsque des centaines d'enfants issus de tout le pays feront eux aussi leurs premiers pas sur Scratch.

En attendant le 1er octobre, voici la liste des ateliers qui seront organisés pour les jeunes du Togo pendant l'Africa Code Week !

Tous a bord du Ampion Venture Bus Maroc !

AMPION est actuellement l´une des seules ONG pan-africaine dédiée à la promotion de l´entreprenariat et de l´innovation technologique en Afrique. L'association organise des programmes Venture Bus d'une durée de 7 jours qui permettent aux participants de transformer de simples idées business en vraies start-ups technologiques.

Le bus vous donne rendez-vous au Maroc du 12 au 19 septembre !

Les experts qui travaillent sous la tutelle d´OCP Entrepreneurship Network et l´association Maroc Entrepreneurs travaillent main dans la main avec Ampion pour faire de ce Venture Bus une expérience inoubliable et une immersion dans l'écosystème marocain. La Grande Finale aura lieu lors de la Shape Africa Conference à Rabat, la plus grande conférence sur les NTIC au Maroc en 2015 organisée par Global Shapers.

Que se passe-t-il à bord du Venture Bus ?


Seeing a smile on children's face as they discover something new and exciting is simply priceless, and the satisfaction brought by the sparkle in their eyes is enormous and truly rewarding. Following Einstein's conviction that "the only source of knowledge is experience", we set ourselves on a journey to equip young people in Africa with a set of skills that are essential in all walks of life, in a fun and creative way. We introduce them to logical thinking, problem solving, creative thinking, storytelling, team work and communications. How are we doing it? By teaching them the basics of computer coding. I cannot go on without admitting how, as political scientist, I was giggling along with kids as I wrote my first lines of code.

Learning how to code – like poetry, history or maths – opens up young (and not so young ;-) minds to new ways of thinking and creating. Because coding skills enable them to master the technology, suddenly they are more than mere users of technological solutions: they become creators of innovation. At the beginning of each coding workshop, when asked who is more intelligent, humans or computers, many children answer 'computers'. While taking their first steps in robotics, children then realize that telling the robot to 'go to the end of the room' is not enough for the robot to understand and obey. However, when they say 'robot, stand up', 'robot, move 10 steps', 'robot turn by 180 degrees', their joy builds up as they see the robot listening. When they write down their first commands in the Scratch interactive online tool, it suddenly dawns on them that they are now in charge of the machine and they can instruct it to do exactly what they want. They learn to give clear commands, to carefully plan each step so as to achieve a desired result. It's just like project management or writing a movie script, so the skills we learn through coding may actually be used in a wide array of contexts.

Building on the success of the EU Code Week set up by the European Commission across 38 European countries last year, these coding workshops are part of the Africa Code Week initiative launched by SAP,, Ampion, the Galway Education Centre, the Cape Town Science Centre and the King Baudouin Foundation. In October 2015, this continent-wide initiative will bring hundreds of coding activities to 20,000 kids and youth from 3 different age groups (8-11, 12-17 and 18-24) across 18 countries.

The goal is to equip future generations with the coding skills they need to thrive in the 21st century workforce and become key actors of Africa's economic development. With the role technology plays in our daily lives and across economies and industries, it is clear that coding skills will be the key to successful careers in the future, whether today's children become tomorrow's leading entrepreneurs or join the digitally skilled workforce companies need more and more, everywhere.

Learn code online with openSAP: enroll today!

Starting October 1, two courses will be available to teach coding to children and teenagers from age 8-17 years old, in both English and French. The courses are based on Scratch, the popular interface designed by the MIT Media Lab to simplify the face of coding for the young generation. With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with millions of like-minded friends online. It helps young people think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively - essential skills for life in the 21st century.

The courses are divided into two age groups:

Teaching Programming to Young Learners (Enseigner la programmation aux enfants) is aimed at teachers, parents, and guardians of children aged 8-11, enabling adults to support children during their coding journey.

Teens Get Coding (Les Ados se mettent au code!) is aimed at 12-17 year olds who want to get started with coding in a fun and interactive system, including the creation of interactive computer games.

Retour d’Afrique du Sud…

Did celebrities end up cracking the code?

See for yourself!

SAP partners with celebrities to promote software coding in Africa!

On Friday, SAP Africa hosted a Celebrity Charity Software Coding Challenge in Johannesburg, in support of the inaugural Africa Code Week, scheduled for October 2015. Celebrities included international musician Loyiso Bala; Bafana Bafana footballer Simphiwe Tshabalala; International beach volleyball player, Sheana Abrahams; President of the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, Rebecca Sykes; Miss RSA International, Shajar Khan; Mrs Globe, Riana Mooi; former TV presenter, Gerri Eldson; South African actor, Jet Novuka; Mr. South Africa 2014/15, Armand du Plessis; Celebrity Chef and TV personality, Yudhika Sujanani; Elizabeth Arden make-up artist, Gina Myers; celebrity plastic surgeon, Dr. Reza Mia; former Miss South Africa, Bokang Montjane; former Miss South Africa, Joan Ramogoshi Madibeng; Lions rugby team players Robbie Coetzee and Howard Mnisi.

Through the simplification of what has historically been perceived as a highly technical arena, SAP is making coding more appealing and accessible to a wider audience, starting with last Friday's Celebrity Charity Coding Challenge. At this event, SAP's global coding experts mentored and coached the celebrities as part of a Global Corporate Social Responsibility International Skilled Volunteering program. They also facilitated a 'Train The Trainer' session with teachers this weekend and they will pilot project with learners at the Cape Town Science Centre this week.

SAP has developed a coding course which is available free of charge on openSAP: registrations are now open for all learners in Africa with courses scheduled to begin on 2 June, 2015. The openSAP platform offers a highly engaging and effective learning experience through gamification, whilst allowing real time interaction between SAP experts and learners. The "Africa Code Week: Teaching Programming to Young Learners" course has been developed in partnership with, the Cape Town Science Centre and the Galway Education Centre, with the purpose of empowering youth, teachers and parents with the language of programming using the freely available "Scratch" system to help bridge the digital skills gap across Africa.

"The ultimate goal of the Celebrity Charity Coding Challenge was to involve people who would normally have no exposure to coding other than consuming applications on mobile devices or computers. Coding is relevant to all industries in the 21st century and as a result, skills need to be constantly updated. SAP believes that, "by sharing skills and knowledge, we will empower people to take control of their futures," commented Mehmood Khan, COO of Sap Africa. "openSAP provides this platform for sharing and we encourage teachers, parents and students across the continent to register for the "Africa Code Week: Teaching Programming to Young Learners" course on the openSAP platform as a means of accessing a valuable resource to further develop the youth of Africa." We look forward to having you on board this historic journey!

Bienvenue sur le Blog de l’Africa Code Week !

Ici commence une grande aventure... L'aventure Africa Code Week ne fait que commencer et ce blog a pour merveilleuse mission d'en dévoiler un chapitre à la fois. Vous pourrez y savourer, à votre rythme, les témoignages de nos partenaires, les nouvelles des différents pays, sans jamais perdre de vue le plus important, à savoir le sourire des enfants. Notre plume n'a qu'une hâte: celle de vous faire partager ces milliers d'étincelles qui brillent dans les yeux de ceux qui découvrent un univers, s'approprient un langage et voient l'horizon s'élargir grâce à de nouvelles portes grandes ouvertes sur leur avenir. Restez connectés et suivez-nous sur Twitter @africacodeweek et !