How Africa Code Week is enhancing digital skills of teachers, students in Africa

Nearly 700 teachers in Ghana completed their digital skills training this month as part of the country’s preparations for SAP Africa Code Week, which aims to introduce 1.5 million young Africans to digital and coding skills this year. In 2018, more than 560 teachers from across Ghana took part in the Train-the-Trainer workshops, which are held ahead of the Africa Code Week activities in October every year.

Similar to its peers across the continent, Ghana boasts a growing youthful workforce, with an estimated 57% of the current population aged 25 and under. It is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies with GDP growth of 6.3% in 2018; this is expected to increase to 7.6% in 2019.

(TOP: A Master trainer assisting a teacher during the TTT session in Accra).

In 2017, the Ghanaian government also made secondary education free, which has played a major role in increasing the country’s literacy rate. According to UNESCO, Ghana’s youth literacy rate has increased from 71% in 2000 to 86% in 2010. More than 84% of children in Ghana attended some form of elementary education in 2017, and enrolment in secondary education grew from 57% in 2012 to 65% in 2017.

According to Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA CSR and Africa Code Week Global Lead at SAP, the great strides Ghana has made toward improving access to education for all and achieving universal enrolment has not made it immune to the continent-wide teaching skills shortage. “This is having an impact on our collective ability to train the next generation of digital workers who will power Africa’s economy in the Fourth Industrial Economy. We believe that, by bringing in relevant partners and activating our extensive volunteer network, we can play a positive role in equipping Ghana’s teachers with important digital teaching skills that will help accelerate digital literacy in the country.”

She adds that the Train-the-Trainer workshops are designed to empower teachers with valuable 21st century digital skills and create a sense of excitement and enthusiasm around the possibilities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “By equipping local teachers with the tools and knowledge they need to inspire the younger generation, we also make a positive contribution to the country’s digital skills development efforts beyond just Africa Code Week.”

With more than 50,000 teachers trained and 4.1 million youth engaged across 37 countries since its inception in 2015, Africa Code Week has already made a lasting contribution to building local teaching capacity in digital education all over the continent. With more and more public, private and non-profit partners on board, the initiative is on a sustainable mission to impact many more schools, teachers and students in the years to come.

Ghana’s Train-the-Trainer programme also enjoys the support of Africa Code Week partner DreamOval Foundation. According to Francis Ahene-Affoh, SVP of the DreamOval Foundation, the Train-the-Trainer workshops are also an opportunity to create, share and utilise knowledge in the education and technology sectors in the service of digital skills development. “Tremendous progress has been made to introduce more teachers and students to 21st century digital skills in Ghana. This year, we look forward to building on our successful partnership and bringing more youth into the digital fold.”

Ghana will host Africa Code Week from October 14 to 25, 2019 while further Train-the-Trainer workshops were held in Nigeria on August 10 to 15, and in Kenya from 19 to 23 August. A complete schedule of workshops and other Africa Code Week activities is available online.

Six surprising facts about teaching in Africa
• African countries are facing a massive challenge with finding teachers: an estimated 17 million are needed to achieve the goal of universal primary and secondary school education by 2030.
• Only one-quarter of pre-school teachers in sub-Saharan Africa are trained. About half of all upper secondary school teachers are trained.
• Sub-Saharan Africa has more than doubled the number of pupils enrolled in primary school between 1990 and 2015, from 60 million to 157 million.
• An estimated 65% of children starting primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist.
• Nearly two-thirds of employees working for African organisations in a recent World Bank study require at least basic digital skills to do their jobs.
• According to the World Bank, global employers consider digital skills to be among the top seven most important skills for the future workforce.

Started in 2015 by SAP’s EMEA CSR department as part of its social investments to drive sustainable growth, Africa Code Week aims to instill digital literacy and coding skills in the young generation to drive sustainable learning impact across Africa. Strong partnerships with the public, private and non-profit organisations are the driving force behind the initiative’s ability to drive sustainable learning impact in support of UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Africa Code Week has so far benefitted over 4 million young Africans and is now actively supported by UNESCO YouthMobile, BMZ, Google and over 130 partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent. SAP also works closely with UNESCO to increase girl participation in ACW workshops. The fifth edition of ACW will see thousands of free coding workshops organised for 1.5 million youth across 36 countries in October 2019, with a strong focus on girl empowerment and community capacity building.


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