Digital skills initiative to train half a million young Africans in one week

Continent-wide digital skills development initiative aims to train half a million young Africans in one week.

GOOD NEWS: President of the Republic of Mauritius with SAP’s Claire Gillissen-Duval and Clas Neumann, Senior Vice President SAP Labs Network: SA Good News.

The 2017 edition of Africa Code Week officially kicked off on June 22nd in Flic-En-Flac, Mauritius. Now in its third year, Africa Code Week aims to spread coding literacy among African youth, with a key focus on female skills development and training.

Inaugurated in 2015 by SAP Corporate Social Responsibility EMEA and several public and private sector partners, the initiative has a long-term goal of empowering more than 200 000 teachers and positively impacting the lives of 5 million children and youth within the next 10 years. In 2016, more than 426 000 young Africans across 30 countries learnt computer coding basics as part of Africa Code Week, beating initial targets of 150 000 by miles. This year, SAP set a target of impacting the lives of 500 000 youth across 35 African countries from 18-25 October. “By learning the new language of coding in an open, supportive environment, young Africans are able to take advantage of the immense opportunities presented by the digital revolution and become active players of the global economy,” says Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and Global Project Lead for Africa Code Week.

By 2040, Africa is projected to have a working age population of more than 1 billion.  “Considering the growing global shortage in technical skills, Africa has a unique opportunity to take a lead role in powering the global economy,” says Clas Neumann, Senior VP, Lead of Fast Growth Market Strategy at SAP. “However, the lack of widely available education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) fields could undermine the continent’s ability to equip this growing workforce with the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy. Africa Code Week is one way of reaching out to even remote corners of the continent and creating interest in the opportunities only the digital world can offer. We hope, that this will help inspiring young Africans to pursue careers that will drive the continent’s digital transformation.”

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