SAP Africa Code Week (ACW) visited Botswana last week to facilitate Train-the-Trainer (TTT) workshops for teachers and youth.

Taking place in the last week of July at various communities across the country, more than 1 000 participants received hands-on training on the new ACW digital curriculum including the Scratch open-source learning interface.

Spearheaded by SAP CSR EMEA in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced coding skills to over 1,8-million young Africans across 35 countries so far, showcasing the impact of private-public partnerships on capacity-building strategies in the digital century.

Together with the Ministry of Basic Education and Ngwana Enterprises, SAP invited local community members to receive three hours of training, a memory stick, course notes and a certificate upon completion – enabling them to introduce and sustain digital skills development in their respective schools and communities.

The ACW 2018 edition will see a total of 20 TTTs impart 21st century knowledge above and beyond actual coding proficiency, which will include a deepening of computational thinking, data science and analytics.

“ACW TTTs are designed to make life easier for teachers as they introduce digital skills in the classroom,” says Sunil Geness, director of CSR and government relations: SAP Africa and Project Lead for Africa Code Week. “With 25 000 teachers trained over the past three years and an average ratio of 72 youth engaged per trained teacher, Train-the-Trainer (TTT) sessions are the foundation of Africa Code Week’s sustainable impact across the continent.”

Botswana, a mid-sized country with 2,2-million inhabitants, is a fast-growing economy boasting one of the highest GDPs in Africa.

According to Hon. Thapelo Olopeng, Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture: “Botswana has experienced radical changes in its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) institutional and regulatory framework. Eleven years ago, an ICT policy was developed to guide all initiatives into creating an environment for growth and provision of universal service and access to ICT facilities.

“The Africa Code Week programme aligns to this policy and supports our mission of becoming a regional ICT hub while we actively support the initiative to conquer Africa’s digital divide.”

Now in its fourth year, ACW instills 21st century skills among African youth with a key focus on capacity-building and female skills development and training in support of the #eskills4girls initiative. On a mission to empower 70 000 teachers and impact the lives of 2-million youth by 2020, SAP has set a target of engaging 600 000 youth across 36 African countries during the month of October 2018.

Mooketsi Bennedict Tekere, CEO of Ngwana Enterprises Botswana, adds: “ACW is living proof that public-private partnerships are a successful way to transform entire ecosystems with a goal to empower future workers and create the jobs of tomorrow.

“The targets set by SAP for Africa Code Week 2018 are extraordinary and we need teachers to make it happen. With 2000 teachers and 27,000 youth trained in Botswana over the past two years and knowing that Africa will be contributing more than half of the global population growth by 2050, we are proud to be part of the programme and look forward to empowering more local youth to become contributors to the global digital economy.”

Africa Code Week is actively supported by key partners UNESCO YouthMobile, the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, Google the German Federal Ministry for Cooperation and Economic Development (BMZ), 15 African governments, over 150 partners and 100 ambassadors across the continent.