AFRICA CODE WEEK:

Putting Coding Skills at Your Fingertips

In 2019, Africa Code Week empowered more than 3.85 million children in 37 countries. 

It’s no secret that coding is the universal language of the future. This year, Africa’s biggest digital skills program, Africa Code Week, returns and aims to empower millions of youth across 54 African countries. Here’s how you can get started on your journey to becoming a coding superhero:

Bigger and better than ever, Africa Code Week 2020 is back and has successfully transitioned to virtual learning, helping to expand the program’s footprint to 54 different countries. Launched in 2015 by SAP, UNESCO and partners, Africa Code Week empowers youth across the continent with digital literacy and coding skills through fun and interactive workshops.

Over the years, the program has grown in popularity and reach, and in 2019, empowered more than 3.85 million children across 37 countries!

As part of the virtual line-up, this year’s event will see the launch of an innovative mobile app which allows users to learn code straight from their pocket. It will also will provide students with easy-to-access resources at any time and any place – fostering smart-phone enabled, learning beyond the classroom.

“Users become part of a pan-African community of coders – right from their mobile phone.”

With 33 different coding lessons, the app can be downloaded on Android devices from the Google Play Store, and is available in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.

Through the app, users can find a ACW ambassador near them, mark content as their favourite to return to it, as well as create an online profile.

“Users become part of a pan-African community of coders – right from their mobile phone,” says Faith Mangope, South African TV news anchor, female tech-entrepreneur, and Africa Code Week celebrity ambassador.

“With mobile phone penetration in Africa increasing significantly, with 84%
of the population expected to have SIM connection by 2025, there has been no beer time to launch a fun learning app for Africa’s youth.” Whether a tech-fundi or a technophobe, there’s something for everyone to enjoy – youth get to learn new 21st century skills, while teachers are trained in online learning, and parents can get involved and educate themselves
too.

In addition to the learning App, Africa Code Week has launched the AfriCAN-
Code Challenge – a pan-African coding competition for youth aged nine to sixteen to use their skills and creative super powers to solve complex societal issues.

Competitors are required to program a game coded with Scratch software,
fostering not only digital skills, but also a wide range of problem-solving, teamwork, communication and essential life skills. The game should fit within the theme: “Courageous Coders”, focusing on how technology can transform the world, which urges youngsters to reimagine tomorrow’s connected school and the future of learning.

5 FUN FACTS ABOUT CODING

 

1. The first reported coder was a woman. Named Ada Lovelace, she created a program for an early mechanical computer in 1843.

2. The first computer ‘bug’ was an actual bug! In 1947, a dead moth caused a malfunction inside an early computer.

3. The first-ever video game was created in 1961.

4. Today, there are nearly 700 coding languages in use.

5. While computer coding may look like a foreign language, it is actually easy to learn. Look for coding workshops in your area during this year’s Africa Code Week. 

To enter, individuals and/or teams need to submit a two-minute YouTube
video explaining what makes their game unique and why their code should win.

The challenge will see the top three winners from each participating country compete at a pan-African level. Winners will be announced later this year.

Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, said: “Over the past five years, Africa Code Week has grown into a trusted repository of free and open-source resources that support both students and teachers on their digital empowerment journey.”

“Teaching young kids to code is a gift that will endure for decades to come. It is important that we take advantage of our most precious resource – our youth.

If we harness this resource by empowering it with digital skills, Africa will go from strength to strength in 2020 and beyond.”

Now, a simple download of Africa Code Week’s digital app can make this a reality – by providing aspiring coders with a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips.

For more information on Africa Code Week, and the AfriCANCode Challenge, visit africacodeweek.org.

Click here to download the app.

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