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?

Jokkolabs is the implementation partner for ACW in francophone Africa, coordinating the actions of the ACW ambassadors in Ivory Coast, Gambia, Togo, Benin, Senegal, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger and the Republic of the Congo. We are proud to be involved in supporting youth on their coding journey.

 

What is your favourite part of ACW?

I would say that it is the impact on young people at an early age and having the opportunity to empower teachers. This we achieve through the provision of continent-wide coding workshops to children between the ages of 8 and 16, as well as via our Train-the-Trainer (TTT) sessions where we upskill teachers.

 

How is ACW helping to prepare children across the continent for the future?

It helps their creativity. For instance, with the AfriCAN Code Challenge which is a pan-African coding competition that forms part of ACW, children are tasked with coding a game using the Scratch programming language to help address societal issues. This is a more efficient way for kids to educate themselves and society. ACW also gives them the opportunity to become producers and not only consumers. It enables them to develop a very critical mindset and helps pave the way for their futures.

 

In what ways have you had to adapt due to the impact of COVID-19?

Thanks to the support of the SAP team and its partners, we were able to deliver online sessions which also provided a new perspective on the way we deliver training. Although the infrastructural challenges remain, we are still confident that they will fade away going forward as online learning is the future of education.

 

What are you looking forward to the most about ACW 2022?

I am hoping for greater ownership of the program by local authorities who can introduce coding to the school curriculum. Coding is crucial for young people as this helps them develop problem-solving abilities, improves creativity, and enhances performance in reading, maths, and science. Plus, it equips them for a world transformed by technology.

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?

Because Africa has the youngest population in the world, it’s important that we give African youth a ladder to climb their way out of poverty. In my view, this can only be done through education and through events like Africa Code Week which provide young people with valuable coding skills. Coding is a language and if young people are fluent in it, they will be better prepared for the digital world.

In what ways has Africa Code Week had to adapt due to the impact of COVID-19?


In 2020, Africa Code Week pivoted from in-person events to holding most events online. Surprisingly, these virtual events had a much greater reach and were able to be enjoyed by students and teachers in many more African countries. For instance, in 2020 we successfully reached 1.5 million youth, of which nearly half were girls. Over 10,500 workshops were held across 43 countries and 21,000 teachers participated in Train-the-Trainer sessions. This is a real accomplishment and something to be proud of.


Looking ahead, what are your plans for Africa Code Week?

Our goals remain the same: to empower young Africans with digital literacy skills. How we do it may change, as evidenced by the evolution to virtual training sessions due to the global pandemic and the launch of the smartphone app in 2020. What I would really like to see are more African governments pledging to offer coding as part of their national school curriculum. So far, through the efforts of Africa Code Week, nine countries have already done so. I’d like to see a whole lot more!

 

Albert Nsengiyumva is the Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, one of the key partners for Africa Code Week, along with SAP, UNESCO, and Irish Aid. 

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

During COVID-19, teachers around the world had to adapt to new circumstances and technology. But most teachers in Africa found that technology was the biggest barrier they faced when it came to teaching their students online. This is because before COVID, many African teachers had received little or no technology training. As a result, they had to adapt and innovate to support learners, parents and caregivers so that learning could continue, despite the uncertainty caused by the virus.

At Africa Code Week, we seek to ensure that the advantages of the global digital economy are available to all, and female teachers are the gateway to this. Our program improves their digital skills, which is vital especially as digital learning is here to stay. This, in turn, will support female teachers to ensure that their students get the education they need to take on 21st century jobs. For instance, WEP participants are applying digital skills and using the design thinking process to create projects that respond to SDG 3, 4 and 5 challenges.

A strong progression model

Research also revealed that the ACW WEP provides an accessible online context for female educators to continue in their professional development during a period of significant educational change, and uncertainty, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In other words, we are making waves and we are not slowing down. Following the 2021 program, 295 graduates are now part of our community of female leaders across 38 African countries.

To keep the momentum, the first seven-week series of 2022 kicked-off in February, bringing together 70+ African women teachers and leaders to share best teaching practices, learn new skills, and create an ongoing community of practice. The program also provides high-level professional development for participants in the areas of leadership, communications, digital skills, design thinking, global citizenship, and resilience. This season, participants leveraged the WEP methodology and group work to address the ‘health, community, education, technology and policy’ barriers to girls’ education’ while learning how to amplify their stories and experiences.

Lastly, from participant to country host, the ACW WEP offers a progression model that provides a structured leadership pathway for every participating teacher.

Building female leadership in African education

Our acclaimed WEP panel discussions provide a platform for intelligent discussion and open debate. Global advocates for girls, policy makers, scholars, change makers: this season brought together high-level experts from SAP, Irish Aid, the Global Partnership for Education, the Moroccan Ministry of National Education, Deloitte, and Maynooth University.

Equally famous is the WEP Teachers’ Corner, where the most inspiring stories can be heard from heroes working wonders on the field: female teachers who inspire generations of girls to become more than they thought they would be. This year again, their voices were heard on social media and they even got to take part in a short-story-telling challenge for International Women’s Day.

We look forward to elevating the role of women in digital education, innovation, and mentorship in Africa this year and beyond!

africa code week women empowerment program 2022

  

 

March 10th Ceremony: Expert Panelists Claire Gillissen-Duval (SAP), Carol Hannon (Irish Aid), Ilham Laaziz & Amal Hassoun (Moroccan Ministry of Education) with WEP 2022 Co-Moderators (Vickie Nxumalo, Hafida Essardi, Nadine Ferris-France and Hala Ali).

 

ENDS

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."

To take part in the AfriCAN Code Challenge, youth were able to enter alone or in teams of up to five people, and entries featured a three-minute YouTube video showcasing how their game works and why it should be considered a winning entry. The unique initiative and entry mechanism called upon the children’s ability to design a project that would solve a community-issue, code it, and communicate it.

 

The winners of the AfriCAN Code Challenge 2021

During the opening rounds of the challenge, participation reached across 40 countries and featured 102 project video clips, only the top three entries from 36 countries made it into the continental final, followed by 20 countries in the final judging stage.

Selected by a high-level jury comprising key Africa Code Week delegates and STEM education experts, the top three winners of the AfriCAN Code Challenge are:

The top 3

First place: Mauritius – Super Recyclers, by Devansh and Darshika
Second place: Nigeria – The Carbon Man, by SUPER GAMERS
Third place: Ethiopia – Kids Academy, by Natnael Kedir

 

Followed by:

4: Niger - Rayuwa
5: Sao Tome & Principe - Helper intrigue
6: Tunisia - Le toucher du bonheur
7: Capo Verde - Change the World with US
8: Morocco – Super hero
9: Seychelles - The Prodigies
10: Madagascar - Pensons civisme

 

The 2021 edition of the AfriCAN Code Challenge was quite unique, as for the first time, hearing-impaired students participated in the competition proving once again that coding is the language of inclusivity and creativity.

Irish Minister of State for overseas development aid and diaspora Colm Brophy T.D, who attended the Rwanda AfriCAN Code Challenge national awards ceremony says, “Africa Code Week unlocks the potential in young people who otherwise may not have considered building their digital skills”

Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility and Co-founder of Africa Code Week at SAP adds, “The  return of the AfriCAN Code Challenge was awaited by our incredible SAP volunteers who took part in the first line of jury. The presence of hearing-impaired students demonstrates the power of inclusivity that resides in digital literacy, in its capacity to build bridges and connect children of an entire continent, regardless of gender, age or ability.”

For more information about SAP Africa Code Week and the AfriCAN Code Challenge, visit www.africacodeweek.org

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

Every future job will at some stage require digital skills! You may dream of becoming a lawyer or a doctor one day, but whatever profession you choose, digital skills are imperative. For example, if you become a surgeon, you’ll likely rely on computer systems to perform intricate procedures and monitor the well-being of your patients. If you become a lawyer, artificial intelligence (AI) may help you understand previous cases in order to build your own strategy when you defend your client in court. The clock is ticking!

 

Teachers can be inspired too

If you’re a teacher, the ACW app will help you prepare your own coding lessons. Many teachers feel daunted by coding and may not understand it. The app not only helps to get ahead and grasp the basics of coding, but teachers can also explain the subject with more confidence.

 

Teachers can upskill themselves

In learning how to code and how to teach coding, teachers will be able to prepare their students for the future, as well as future-proof their own careers. Rather than feeling threatened, teachers can embrace new technology and the creative possibilities that it holds for their students.

 

Join a community of like-minded people across Africa

The wonderful thing about technology is how it can transcend borders and unite people. One of the niftiest benefits of the app is how it can find and reach similar people and interest groups who share the same passion for coding. Who knows, you could even collaborate on an interactive game that will be the next winner at the AfriCAN Code Challenge!

 

The Africa Code Week smartphone app is designed to make teaching and learning material about coding accessible to everyone. Available on the Google Play Store, it is easy to use for both teachers and students. Let the code (and fun), begin!

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.

 

Au total, 40 pays ont participé, et plus de 100 vidéos de projets ont été soumises. Les trois meilleurs projets de 36 pays ont été retenus pour la finale continentale : sur ces 36 projets, 20 projets ont été retenus pour la dernière phase!

 

Here are the 20 projects that made it through to the final round / Voici les 20 projets finalistes :

 

Ivory Coast:  Mégaménage
Niger:  Rayuwa
Gabon:  Stop Déchet
Djibouti: Ecole Excellence
Madagascar: Pensons civisme
Tunisia: Le toucher du bonheur
Nigeria: The Carbon Man
The Gambia: Quiz Game
Rwanda: Master Jump Game
Uganda: Save Planet Earth Project
Ethiopia: Kids Academy
Mauritius: Super Recyclers
South Africa: Eco friendly game
Zimbabwe: Recycle it
Sudan: Saving Children
Seychelles: The Prodigies
Capo Verde : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_i1RC73Cmk 
Sao Tome & Principe: Helper intrigue
Morocco: Super Hero 
Libya: https://youtu.be/9sYZNsYEjFs

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.”

More than 39 000 teachers in 37 countries were mobilised during the 2019 Africa Code Week. This year, with both a virtual and a hybrid format due to the impact of the pandemic, Africa Code Week is taking place in all African countries, including a month-long series of virtual coding sessions that took place across the continent from October until December.

 

Teachers embrace digital learning opportunity

Francis Ahene-Affoh, SVP at the DreamOval Foundation, says there was a high level of interest in the Train-the-Trainer sessions this year despite the challenging conditions of the pandemic.

“We had to switch to an all-virtual teaching model supported by SAP master trainers from around the world, as well as our network of local partners. Teachersfrom all regions in Ghana registered and participatedon the virtual training. Teachers from as far as Fumbisi in the Builsa south in the Upper East region of Ghana. This is an opportunity for an inclusive training, ensuring every teachers irrespective of location benefits from the coding training. This year’s training targeted 800 teachers. In 2020 alone over two weeks, we trained 1080 teachers from across the country."

A survey conducted by the DreamOval Foundation of participating teachers revealed many would choose to continue with online learning in future. “While the majority of participants at this year’s Train-the-Trainer sessions were from the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions, this year’s virtual learning model also enabled teachers from every part of Ghana to participate,” says Ahene-Affoh. "We believe this indicates a need for virtual teaching to continue even when the pandemic subsides, as the travel to attend training sessions in person can be an obstacle to teachers' participation.”

Internet connectivity continues to be a challenge in Ghana, and few teachers have access to laptops. “Despite not having resources, more than half of teachers surveyed joined the sessions via their mobile phones. This level of commitment and passion for teaching and digital skills development is hugely encouraging as we work to prepare the country’s youth for participation in the digital economy,” says Ahene-Affoh.

 

Mobilising youth in continent-wide coding challenge

A recent addition to Africa Code Week activities is the AfriCanCode Challenge, a continent-wide coding challenge calling on youth aged 8 to 16 to compete in a competition. The competition was launched in September last year in partnership with SAP, UNESCO YouthMobile and Irish Aid.

According to Mustapha Diyaol Haqq, Africa Code Week’s 2019-2020 youth ambassador in Ghana, interest in the AfriCanCode Challenge has been high among Ghanaian youth. “Despite low levels of internet penetration in Ghana, young aspiring coders from across the country have taken up the challenge. Through teamwork, problem-solving and newly-developed coding skills, youth are putting forward their vision for what the future of education holds for the continent."

Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, says:

“While the pandemic has upended the lives of learners and teachers across the continent and disrupted schooling, it has also created opportunities. The growing urgency to provide learning through digital channels is driving greater interest in digital skills among learners and teachers alike. Teaching young kids to code is a gift that will endure for decades to come. If we harness our most precious resource – our abundance of youthful talent – Africa will go from strength to strength in 2021 and beyond.”

 

AfriCAN Code Challenge 2021 in Ghana

 

 

About SAP

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER