BY: ITWeb, Staff Writer.

After training almost 14 million pupils and teachers on the continent, SAP Africa Code Week (ACW) has introduced a two-year action plan as part of the second phase of the coding initiative.

According to a statement, as part of ACW’s two-year transition period, the continent’s biggest coding initiative is engaging governments across the continent to play a greater role in fostering the adoption of coding in their countries’ schools.

Introduced in 2015 by software giant SAP and partner United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, ACW aims to spark interest in coding through fun and interactive community workshops for youngsters across the continent.

Through ACW, SAP and partners are on a mission to inspire a new generation of African youth through digital skills development and empower teachers and communities with digital teaching tools to create a more equitable and sustainable future.

Emmanuel Raptopoulos, president of SAP’s EMEA South region, which includes Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, says the 2023 rollout includes ambitious plans to partner closely with policy-makers and governments to help transform Africa’s education agenda by adding digital literacy to the national curricula.

To date, nine African countries have officially adopted coding as a mandatory subject in public education. The 2023 programme will continue to reach more communities and countries via in-person and online events, says SAP.

“There are approximately 300 millionyoung people in Africa, and our goal is to empower each and every one of them with digital skills. A vision like ours requires all stakeholders to work together and collaborate for the betterment of the continent and its future leaders.

“This is why the ACW curriculum will be handed to governments to support them in introducing coding into school curricula,” notes Raptopoulos.

The initiative has grown from the 88 000 pupils who participated in the first year, with now close to 14 million pupils and teachers from 48 countries having been empowered with digital skills, says SAP.

Last year alone, over 2.6 million participants engaged in the skills development initiative, with 37 121 workshops held across the continent. More than 48% of participants were female, it notes.

Commencing the two-year action plan, ACW recently hosted a three-day event in Rabat, Morocco, which was attended by government officials and education representatives from 10 African countries.

“This was the start of a bigger vision which calls for governments to play a bigger role in encouraging the use of coding in schools by implementing the ACW programme into their curricula,” says Julius Fomboh, inspector general of pedagogy in charge of computer science education in the ministry of secondary education in Cameroon, and member of the ACW transition taskforce.

“In order for the continent to successfully equip young people with the skills required for the future, all stakeholders need to come together and unite.”


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