Africa Code Week to ‘Unlock Digital Potential’ of Millions of Young Africans, says Minister Brophy

 Africa Code Week to ‘Unlock Digital Potential’ of Millions of Young Africans, says Minister Brophy

Minister for Overseas Development Aid & Diaspora, Colm Brophy TD, has welcomed the launch of Africa Code Week 2021, saying the initiative will help to equip millions of young people across 54 African countries with vital digital skills.

Africa Code Week is the continent’s biggest digital skills youth initiative. Last year, 1.5m young people – 48% of whom were girls – engaged in coding workshops.

Minister Brophy said:

 “Africa Code Week gives young people the skills needed to flourish in the 21st century. Many of the young people who take part in Africa Code Week have no prior experience of coding but this initiative sparks an interest and passion.

 “Africa Code Week unlocks the potential in young people who otherwise may not have considered building their digital skills. The level of talent that comes through this initiative is remarkable. Last year’s coding challenge was won by a 10-year-old girl in Ethiopia who successful developed her own digital maths quiz.

 “Digital skills such as coding are essential in the modern economy. Irish Aid is delighted to be a strategic partner of Africa Code Week, helping to train and inspire young people all over Africa.”

Africa Code Week launches on Tuesday, October 5th, coinciding with World Teacher’s Day. Africa Code Week has engaged over 100,000 teachers since 2015, empowering teachers with critical digital teaching skills.

In addition to training young people across the continent, the initiative will also see the return of the AfriCAN Code Challenge, a coding competition for students aged 8 to 16 to create a game that solves a community-issue using the Scratch programming language.

Last year the competition drew entries from 1,800 participants from 40 African countries. The winner was 10 year-old Soliyana from Ethiopia who developed a maths quiz called ‘Mathstainement’. The theme for this year is ‘Change the world with your superpowers’.

See africacodeweek.org for further details.

ENDS
Press Office
05 October 2021

Notes to the Editors:

  • Irish Aid is a strategic partner of Africa Code Week, which is an initiative of software company SAP. First launched in 2015 by SAP and Irish partner Camden Education Trust, Africa Code Week (ACW) provides free opportunities for African students and teachers to learn much-needed technology skills. ACW has become Africa’s biggest digital skills youth initiative.
  • In 2019, ACW engaged nearly 4 million children in 37 countries. In 2020, 1.5m youths engaged in coding workshops, 48% of whom were girls. An additional 20,000 teachers were trained on coding.
  • In 2021, there will be workshops in 54 countries with a specific focus on girls.
  • An ACW Women’s Empowerment Programme brings together African female teachers and educators in Computer Science and STEM to share knowledge, brainstorm innovative ideas, and collaborate on challenges and projects with the aim of supporting girls to stay in school and build STEM and digital skills.
  • As a strategic partner of the initiative since 2019, Irish Aid is actively helping to build educational capacity and expand the network of female educational leadership.

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