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.


South Africa


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.

This is what brought the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to launch the #eskills4Girls initiative as part of Germany’s 2017 G20 presidency, with a goal to tackle the gender digital divide in low income and developing countries. Endorsed by all G20 states and by SAP and UNESCO as part of Africa Code Week, #eskills4Girls is a global initiative bringing together governments, private sector, universities and non-profits across the continent to narrow the gender digital divide. In parallel, throughout the course of 2018, BMZ, UNESCO, SAP and the Camden Education Trust gathered pedagogues and experts to strengthen the gender component of Africa Code Week’s Train-the-Teacher curriculum.



As part of this 2018 edition, 20 BMZ grants were awarded to support digital literacy events and workshops across 15 African countries. Implemented by volunteer trainers and teachers within each grantee organization, these workshops introduced more than 13,791 women and girls to the basics of coding using Scratch, the globally-acclaimed programming interface designed by the MIT Media Lab. In some countries, participants were also able to learn mobile application development and software programming languages including HTML, CSS, Javascript and Java.

* Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women. 

List of 2018 #eSkills4Girls grantees:

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.




Ngwana will facilitate the development of coding and digital skills for educators, children and youth across Botswana. 

The Clicking Generation


A 2 days workshop for teachers from 20 schools selected from Ngamiland area which is in the North-West part of Botswana. These are schools in rural areas who are fortunate to have computer labs but no skilled teachers to teach the students. 5 teachers will be selected from each school to participate making a total of 100 teachers. 10 Primary schools and 10 Secondary schools to participate.

The Clicking Generation


Students will be introduced to coding using scratch. 20 schools will introduce coding to a minimum of 200 students from standard 1 to standard 6, with other classes with students with disabilities. Bana Ba Letsatsi are orphans which range from 5 years to 18 years. We would be concentrating on students at Primary and Secondary school and students for special education, as well as orphans in Maun and surrounding villages.

Dream Factory Foundation Botswana


ACW Matenge seeks to empower 1000 young people empowered with basic coding skills through 1.5-hour digital learning workshops using SCRATCH. This initiative seeks to inspire and introduce youth residing in rural communities to the digital skills they need to make their dreams come true in this digital age.




Studio Samuel empowers at-risk girls to create and develop coding projects that express their artistry, enhance their critical thinking, advance their computer skills, and encourage them to expand their education and share their knowledge with others.

The Gambia



Let kids code will organize series of coding sessions in rural setups. Most of the children who will be enrolled in the program will be complete beginners. This event will help spark interest in participants to pursue a career in ICT and related studies. The ICT Gap in The Gambia is very wide especially among girls and such events will train more people in ICT in obtaining the sustainable development goals.


The Learn Again Foundation


Code Shuttle is a learning experience where students aged between 11-16 learn coding by signing up on Google CS First platform. These students will be shuttled to KNUST to use high speed Internet to learn coding.

iSpace Foundation  

A Coding and Digital Skills Program for kids to begin experimenting with visual blocks, then progress to HTML and CSS as they design websites, build apps, and make incredible projects. Our goal is for each participant to feel confident in coding, and to be able to continue to learn on their own with tools and resources that are available to them.


Rekindle Learning


Rekindle Learning Kenya CS Workshop Africa Code Week 2018 for Rural Schools: an initiative that enables students to learn Computer Science and prepare for the 4th Industrial Revolution with special emphasis on girl empowerment.

Kiwimbi Kenya Ngo


Computa Funguo wa Maisha is a Google-Funded Kiwimbi Program that teaches coding to rural children and trains teachers in rural schools to teach children coding skills and to prepare them for further education and a future of employability.

The Africa Centurion Initiative


Kids Comp Camp is a program that seeks to ensure that underprivileged students between the ages of 8 and 18 from slum and rural backgrounds have the computing knowledge to afford them the same opportunities their peers in urban areas enjoy.

Modcom Ltd.


Modcom's "Coding4All” project will introduce participants in Nairobi to coding during the Africa Code Week. “Coding4All” project will allow inclusivity of all young people, with a major focus on marginalized kids and gender balance.

African Maths Initiative


African Maths Initiative will organise an innovative workshop for local teachers in Trans Nzoia County, Kenya. The main goal of the workshop is to set an agenda for initiatives to develop and improve computational thinking in schools and all participants are intended to play leadership roles.




In 2018, UNESCO-SMEF Thakakhoali Mahlale mobile laboratory services will feature Africa Code Week on tour - using a mobile, solar-powered lab equipped with Android tablets so that kids in the rural and off grid areas of Lesotho are given the opportunity to code for the first time.

Soofia International School 


Soofia International School will train 150 teachers minimum on Scratch and Web Development (HTML, CSS and Javascript). Courses will be provided by a team of master trainers who have already received training in Soofia.




mHub will be teaching basic coding skills using Scratch to 200 girls aged 12 to 18 during Africa Code Week 2018.


InnoSoft Technologies


InnoSoft Technologies will be training teachers in coding skills so they can in turn train and mentor students in their respective schools.

Online Hub Educational Services 


Online Hub plans to teach coding to 500 teachers from 500 community schools in Ogun State. 

Dev's District 


Dev's District will be organising "Code Hope", a program to introduce students in rural and low socioeconomic areas to computer science during Africa Code Week.

LearnFactory Nigeria

  Learnfactory will be teaching coding skills to 1,000 children aged 10- 16 during Africa Code Week.

Be The Change Organization


Be the Change will be teaching students ages 14-18 years, within Suleja and Tafa Local Government of Niger State of Nigeria, an Introduction to Python.

Space Club FUTA


Based in the Federal University of Technology in Akure, Space Club FUTA will introduce the concepts of computer programming to 100 secondary school teachers in Akure. The hands on training and interactive lectures would ensure the teachers are well equipped to pass the knowledge onto their students during Africa Code Week.

Soparkids International  

Soparkids International will introduce the language of coding with scratch, CS First & Robotics to children, giving them the awareness of computer science. The program will also teach them the importance of teamwork and collaboration to inspire them to become innovators.

Skyline Futuristic Eco West African Academy


Skyline Futuristic Eco West African Academy will be training 2100 children to write at least a line of code during Africa Code Week 2018. Most of the children trained will be from underprivileged backgrounds and a minimum of 45% of children trained will be young females passionate about Computer Science. The program will target Enugu South Local Government Area and its environs in Enugu State, Nigeria.



Greativation will deliver a hands-on coding training organized to empower teachers of public secondary schools in the outskirts of Lagos and Ogun State with general basic Computing and Programming knowledge and to teach digital skills so that they can impact the knowledge and skill to the learners in the various schools they teach.

Bodex ICT Foundation


Bodex ICT Foundation will host a workshop to empower kids between the ages of 10-16 with basic computer and coding skills in the low socioeconomic area in Osun State Nigeria; to inspire creativity and to make them a better student in the real tech world and academics.

Curators Interactive 


Curators Interactive will host a specially crafted STEM intervention program to help kids go beyond their regular school curriculum in preparation for the future workplace. Their focus will be on empowering students and teachers in Benin City, Edo State.


Codekajola ACW 2018 will train kids between age 11-18 years old across 4 local government areas of Oyo State, Nigeria. CodeKajola ACW 2018 will focus on training these kids Computer science learning activity. Main focus of learning will be based on CS-Unplugged and Scratch Coding.

Audax Solutions Limited  

Audax will be hosting a free coding workshop for ages 9-18 to teach the fundamentals of computer programming.

KYM Signature Media

  Code-dication seeks to teach coding to youth and spread the good news of coding to regions where it has never been heard before, beginning with Jos, Plateau State.

Initiative for the Development of the Next Generation

  This group aims to train 120 teachers who can in turn impact over 2000 students within 4 months. At the workshop, teachers will learn the preliminary act of coding using Scratch and the Google CS-First curriculum with various video tutorials, PDF guide and online materials to aid self-development of participating teacher after the training. 

Tych Zoe Global Network Ltd.

  Tych Zoe Global Network is organizing an early child digital inclusion advocacy; equipping the students with skills that can solve problems using technology.

Euidem IT Solutions


For Africa Code Week, Euidem will be training 100 IT instructors across several Nigerian schools.

Imagine Tech Limited


YUNG coders is a practical coding experience organised by Imagine Tech Ltd. to empower kids/teenagers with basic computing and programming knowledge and to promote digital literacy within areas with little or no programming opportunities.

Codenonia Codecamp Series


Codenonia plans to utilize Africa Code Week by providing quality CS education to teachers, learners, and young ones in rural areas in Ekiti State.

Junior Achievement Nigeria


Equipping secondary school teachers with skills to teach coding in their respective schools, Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) is committed to raising a generation of young entrepreneurs equipped with relevant digital skills to thrive in a global economy. The goal is to get teachers excited about using coding to help students develop critical reasoning and design thinking skills that will prepare them for greater success in future.

Jaques Technology


An initiative to expose high school students in the rural area of Ogbomoso, Oyo State to the possibilities of computer science through storytelling, art, music, and sounds by leveraging CS First. In the end, students will have cultivated a creative mental state of approaching problems and will be ready to advance their knowledge in computer science.

Codespark Nigeria


Codespark Nigeria will deliver coding workshops to 2000 secondary school students.



TechQuest will deliver coding workshops to 3000 secondary school students across 6 states in Nigeria.

South Africa



ICT Club will train teachers on Scratch coding in rural and township areas.



ICT Club will teach coding using Scratch (ncluding Scratch Junior for Grade 2-4) to learners in rural and township areas. 

Dream Factory Foundation


Dream Factory will see 500 young people empowered with basic coding skills through 1.5-hour digital learning workshops using Scratch. This initiative seeks to inspire our youth to hone the digital skills they need to make their dreams come true in this digital age.

Code for Change


CodeJIKA will bring coding into over 500 secondary school students through student-run coding clubs.

Beautiful Gate SA


Beautiful Gate operates in a low socio-economic area in the townships outside Cape Town and will be introducing over 200 kids to coding. 

ArcelorMittal Transformation Centre - Newcastle

  ArcelorMittal will be running a program called Junior engineers in motion where 800 learners will learn about coding. 

Sci-Enza Science Centre


Sci-Enza will host an Introduction to Scratch for learners from disadvantaged schools who are in Grade 7, 8 and 9. Learners will attend a 2-hour session each day at the University of Pretoria (Mamelodi Campus) from Monday to Thursday during Africa Code Week.



Unlocking Africa's future, one workshop at a time. Fundanii and Hudson Park Primary School are collaborating to bring coding and Computer Science to kids and their parents through a variety of one-hour workshops. The workshops will make use of Lightbot, Scratch, Sphero mini robots and even offline coding through dance choreography.



ORT SA CAPE will present Scratch coding workshops for underprivileged children aged 9 to 12 using Scratch and Lego WeDo robots.

Masana Social Innovations and Investments


The We Code program aims to make coding skills accessible and fun for youth in under-served communities to acquire relevant coding skills, that will enable them to also be self-sufficient and thus encouraging them to be coding entrepreneurs.



Raising awareness and encouraging learners to pursue ICT careers.



Deepening ICT understanding through coding.

Isisombuluo Community Improvement Programme NPC

  Inkcubeko Youth and Science Centre are joining the Africa Code Week movement by introducing learners and teachers within the Eden district to coding using Scratch.

Siyafunda Community Technology Centre

  SIYAFUNDA CTC plans to empower community centre trainers with coding skills enabling the centres to provide coding programmes to more than 50,000 learners at their centres during Africa Code Week.




ACW INCLUSIVE TOGO 2018 is a program that aims to build mobile computer labs with trained coding volunteers. They will then travel to remote communities where there are no mobile labs in schools and introduce students and children from these disadvantaged communities to computer coding.


Youth for Reconciliation and Leadership


Previously known as IT4All, the Computer Science for Rural Schools is a project that was initiated to help rural students access skills in computer science. Working together with local rural schools, the project equips ICT teachers with the right skills in computer sciences. These teachers then pass on the skills to their teachers and keep supporting them throughout the year.

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



Tech Hub Solidarit


The Clicking Generation




GDG Limbe


Walta Mothers and Children health care organistion


Studio Samuel Foundation


Give 1Project Gambia


Healthy Career Initiative - Ghana Code Club


Learn Again Foundation


Camara Education Limited


Youth for Technology




GEM Institute






Centre for Coordination of Gender Matters, Eduardo Modlane




Youth Parliament of Mozambique


Audax Solutions Limited


YAEDF - Myemad Ventures


CodeSpark Nigeria


Edu Teens Science Development Foundation






Dream Factory Foundation

South Africa

Masana Social Innovations

South Africa

Sakhikamva Foundation

South Africa

Geek Kulcha

South Africa

Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre

South Africa

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."

Claire Gillissen-Duval

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!  



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.

By fostering interest in creative computing through hands-on, interactive and fun learning, the EU and Africa Code Week initiatives are powerful ways to spread digital literacy across continents and start shaping tomorrow’s highly skilled workforce: tech savvy men and women eager to drive social and economic development in a digital world that changes at the speed of light.

Education is the most fertile soil for personal development and future economic growth, the same way proper food helps our body grow and stay healthy. As Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is also the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world’, which ultimately translates into increased income, reduced poverty and a more peaceful society.

And by the way, if a political scientist could learn and master coding basics so quickly, then trust me, everybody can!  


Did celebrities end up cracking the code?

See for yourself!