SAP Africa will be hosting a Celebrity Charity Software Coding Challenge tonight in Johannesburg, in support of the inaugural Africa Code Week, scheduled for October 2015.

The celebrities include international musician Loyiso Bala; Bafana Bafana footballer Simphiwe Tshabalala; International beach volleyball player, Sheana Abrahams; President of the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, Rebecca Sykes; Miss RSA International, Shajar Khan; Mrs Globe, Riana Mooi; former TV presenter, Gerri Eldson; South African actor, Jet Novuka; Mr South Africa 2014/15, Armand du Plessis; Celebrity Chef and TV personality, Yudhika Sujanani; Elizabeth Arden make-up artist, Gina Myers; celebrity plastic surgeon, Dr Reza Mia; former Miss South Africa, Bokang Montjane; former Miss South Africa, Joan Ramogoshi Madibeng; and Lions rugby team players Robbie Coetzee and Howard Mnisi.

Through the simplification of what has historically been perceived as a highly technical arena, SAP is making coding more appealing and accessible to a wider audience, starting with today’s Celebrity Charity Coding Challenge.

At tonight’s event, SAP’s global coding experts will mentor and coach the celebrities and will then continue with a Global Corporate Social Responsibility International Skilled Volunteering programme, which will see them facilitate a Train The Trainer session with teachers, as well as a pilot project with learners in Cape Town next week.

SAP has developed a coding course which is available at no cost on openSAP, where registrations are now open for all learners in Africa, with courses scheduled to begin on 2 June 2015. The openSAP platform offers a highly engaging and effective learning experience through gamification, while allowing realtime interaction between SAP experts and learners.

The Africa Code Week: Teaching Programming to Young Learners has been developed in partnership with, the Cape Town Science Centre and the Galway Education Centre, with the purpose of empowering youth, teachers and parents with the language of programming using a freely available “Scrath” system to help bridge the digital skills gap across many areas in Africa.

“The ultimate goal of the Celebrity Charity Coding Challenge is to involve people who would normally have no exposure to coding, other than consuming applications on mobile devices or computers. Coding is relevant to all industries and to remain relevant in the 21st century it is imperative that skills are constantly updated. SAP believes that only through sharing of skills and knowledge, are we able to empower people to take control of their futures,” says Mehmood Khan, chief operaring office of SAP Africa.

“openSAP provides this platform for sharing and we encourage teachers, parents and students across the continent to register for the Africa Code Week: Teaching Programming to Young Learners course on the openSAP platform as a means of accessing a valuable resource to further develop the youth of Africa.”