By SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – A continent-wide initiative to spread digital literacy across the continent has been launched in Tanzania with the aim of empowering 500 000 African youth this year.
The resumption of the Africa Code Week (ACW) in Dar es Salaam will culminate in series of live coding workshops across 35 countries.
Youth aged 8-24 are expected to participate in the thousands of free coding workshops that will be organized throughout the week.
In the run-up to these events, thousands of teachers have been trained by skilled volunteers from SAP CSR EMEA and ACW Ambassadors across most participating countries.
Government ministers, envoys, SAP and the private sector witnessed the launch presided over by Prof. Joyce Ndalichako Tanzanian Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training.
Ciaran Cannon, Irish Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, was among the dignitaries.
Organisations represented include the United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) YouthMobile, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Cape Town Science Centre, Galway Education Centre and Google.
Ndalichako said the use of ICT had increased considerably in recent years.
She said technology was a key foundation which would lift Africa out of poverty in a sustainable manner.
The minister said the East African country was thankful to SAP and ACW partners for their support in our efforts to boost science, technology, engineering and match (STEM) skills development for youth.
“We look forward to empowering a new generation of digital innovators across Tanzania and Africa at large,” Ndalichako.
Tanzania has grown faster than the average rate of growth in sub-Saharan Africa (6,9 percent compared to 4,9 percent growth rate since 2005).
Key drivers for its path to transformation are centered around technology based innovation and improving skills.
Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at SAP and Global Project Lead for ACW said Tanzania was a perfect example of how governments can leverage the ACW shared-value model and dynamic ecosystem to accelerate schools’
digital transformation and fast-track youth empowerment through ICT.
As part of the ACW, BMZ provides micro grants to 20 female tech leaders who organize coding workshops in 17 African countries specifically for girls.
There are 250 million fewer women than men have access to the internet.
“We need to take action to close this gap and make sure women and girls can benefit from the potentials of the digital revolution?, said Roland Lindenthal, Head of Division Education and Digital World at BMZ.
ACW 2017 will take place until 25 October across 35 countries.
Eventually, ACW aims to empower 200 000 teachers and impact the lives of 5 million young Africans over the next ten years.
– CAJ News