The 2018 edition of Africa Code Week (ACW), a digital skills development initiative, has received a significant boost with the announcement of key partner, Google’s support of 53 non-profit organisations across 11 countries.
This is the third consecutive year that Google is making micro grants available to organisations involved in implementing Africa Code Week’s vision to instil 21st century skills among Africa’s youth.
In 2016 and 2017, the company enabled 90 organisations across 10 countries to expose more than 100,000 youth to computer science and coding.
According to Sunil Geness, Project Lead for Africa Code Week, the two tech giants, SAP and Google, have taken their partnership beyond global technological collaboration and joined forces to further intensify the reach of the Africa Code Week programme to meaningfully deepen digital literacy and augment efforts to ensure that young Africans are prepared to take full advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Equipping Africa’s large youthful workforce with 21st century digital skills is vital to ensuring the continent’s future success and its ability to achieve the ambitions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Geness explained.
“Google’s immense support will this year alone empower 2,200 teachers who will inspire an estimated 80,000 students through computer science and coding workshops during Africa Code Week 2018. Our partnership will make a significant contribution to ensuring a bright collective future for all citizens, governments and private sector companies on the African continent,” he added.
Spearheaded by SAP CSR EMEA and a number of public and private sector partners, Africa Code Week started in 2015 with the goal of impacting the lives of 2 million youth by 2020.
To date, more than 1.8 million youth across 35 African countries have been introduced to 21st century digital skills. With a focus on developing sustainable local capacity, Africa Code Week also strives to empower 70,000 teachers across the continent with key skills and teaching materials to help bridge the digital and gender skills gap in Africa.
“Africa Code Week’s focus on instilling 21st century skills and building local digital skills and teaching capacity is superbly aligned to our commitment in preparing 10 million people in Africa for tomorrow’s workplace,” Mzamo Masito, Google’s Chief Marketing Officer for sub-Saharan Africa said.
“Following hugely successful partnership activities over the past two years, we are this year expanding our grant allocations to support more organisations in their efforts to inspire a new generation of digital African workers,” Masito continued.
This year’s Google micro grant recipients will host a series of community workshops aimed at empowering youth and teachers to create sustainable local skills development capacity. Organisations that will receive support from Google this year stem from Botswana, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo and Uganda.
A total of 53 organisations will receive support in the form of Google micro grants this year.
They include: the Siyafunda Community Technology Centre in South Africa, which aims to equip 1000 teachers with digital skills; Rekindle Learning in Kenya, which focuses on preparing youth for the Fourth Industrial Revolution with a specific focus on girls; Greativation in Nigeria, which aims to empower teachers of public secondary schools in the outskirts of Lagos and Ogun State with general basic Computing and Programming knowledge, enabling them to teach digital skills; and Studio Samuel in Ethiopia, which empowers at-risk girls to create and develop coding projects that express their artistry, enhance their critical thinking, advance their computer skills and encourages them to expand their education and share knowledge with others.
“All of this year’s grant recipients focus on establishing communities of practice to support youth as they prepare for a future where digital and STEM skills are paramount,” explained Geness.
“With Google’s generous support, Africa Code Week is playing an invaluable role in developing sustainable local digital skills capacity that will empower a new generation of African worker with the knowledge and inspiration they need to succeed. We wish all the participating organisations the best as we head into this year’s live workshops in October,” he said.