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Africa Code Week underway in Madagascar

Africa Code Week underway in Madagascar

The 2018 edition of Africa Code Week (ACW) officially kicked-off in Madagascar this week with its first-part series of Train-the-Trainer (TTT) workshops.

According to a statement issued by ACW, over 200 local teachers and parents received hands-on training on the open-source Scratch learning interface to enable them to "introduce and sustain digital skills development in their respective classrooms."

In the statement Madagascar is described as the fourth largest island on the planet, with a population of more than 26 million - of which over 50% are youth.

The country is focused on establishing ICT centres in schools and expanding infrastructure as part of efforts to eradicate poverty.

"We would like to thank SAP, UNESCO and Africa Code Week partners for their strategic vision to build teacher and community capacity for ICT skills development which is fully aligned and supports the Ministry of Education," said Lalaharontsoa Rakotojaona, Director General of Secondary Education and Mass Training.

This year, SAP has set a target of reaching 600 000 youth across 35 African countries during the month of October, with actual dates to be set by each country to accommodate their school calendar.

Karolina Telejko, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and Project Lead for Africa Code Week said, "2018 will be an exciting year as ACW shifts into second gear from igniting the continent and raising awareness of the importance of digital education to sustaining the impact of the programme through capacity-building efforts in close partnerships with governments, schools and NPOs."

The 2018 edition will see over 20 TTT workshops funded by SAP CSR EMEA and hosted by either the ACW team, Ministries or NGOs across the continent. "Taking Africa Code Week to the next level of capacity building impact means more than multiplying teacher training on a national and continental scale. It is also about providing them with a comprehensive curriculum that imparts 21st century knowledge above and beyond actual coding proficiency, namely deepening understanding of computational thinking and tackling data science and analytics," Telejko explains.

Now in its fourth year, ACW was established to transfer 21st century skills among African youth with a focus on capacity-building and female skills development and training in support of the #eskills4girls initiative.

Introduced in 2015 by SAP CSR EMEA, AWC is also supported by UNESCO YouthMobile, Google and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as well as 15 African governments, over 150 partners and 100 ambassadors.

African Development Bank initiative

In early June the African Development Bank (AfDB) launched its Coding for Employment Program at the African Innovation Summit in Kigali along with partners The Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft and Facebook.

The initiative is established to train people and then match graduates to employers with the objective to create 9 million jobs and reach 32 million people (primarily youth and women) in Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Senegal.

The organisation anticipates that the African youth population will likely double by 2050 to over 830 million, even as the digital divide on the continent persists and the critical skills gap poses a serious challenge to youth securing employment.

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