The ThinkYoung Coding School, together with Boeing, has successfully concluded its 17th edition in Nairobi, Kenya. During two weekends on January 28 – 29 and February 4 – 5, 2023, over 60 teenagers were introduced to coding through ThinkYoung’s bootcamp. The programme featured an interactive curriculum that included coding skills applicable for the aviation industry, robotics and drones.
Kuljit Ghata-Aura, President, Boeing Middle East, Türkiye and Africa, said: “Software engineering has already become one of the most in-demand disciplines in aerospace. In order to be competitive on the labour market, young talents need to develop 21st century skills. That is why programmes such as the ThinkYoung Coding School are crucial”.
The programme is expanding in Africa. In addition to Kenya, ThinkYoung and Boeing will run coding schools in Rwanda and Ethiopia in spring 2023. Throughout the year, more than 150 African teenagers – 60% of which are girls – will benefit from free-of-charge lessons in computer programming through the ThinkYoung Coding School bootcamps in Africa.
Since 2016, ThinkYoung and Boeing have introduced more than 1,300 teenagers to coding.
The ThinkYoung Coding School is characterized by its innovative approach in a non-formal educational setting, addressing the real needs of the youth and the skills required to be successful in the modern world. While the proportion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates in Africa averages less than 25%, the ThinkYoung Coding School aims to train youth in digital skills and encourage them to pursue a higher education path in STEM subjects. The programme seeks to ensure the next generation is equipped with top-notch skills to meet the global demand for skilled labour in tech and aerospace industries.
“We are delighted to partner for the seventh consecutive year with Boeing and conclude another successful edition in Kenya. With more and more of young people’s lives shifting to the digital realm, we maintain our commitment to equipping them with the STEM skills required to participate in and lead the digital transformation. We believe 2023 will be a big year for our impact in Africa, and we are looking forward to going to Ethiopia and Rwanda to further scale our journey running coding programmes around the world,” said Andrea Gerosa, the founder of ThinkYoung.
Bridging the gender gap in STEM
Every edition of the Coding School welcomes between 60% and 70% of girls interested in taking their first steps in coding and learning the language of the future. The project aims to break the stereotype that STEM is not for women. One of the programme’s key goals is to promote gender equality by giving girls early computer science experiences. The programme builds a supportive environment capable of instilling conﬁdence and interest in future STEM careers among girls.
ThinkYoung is a think tank that focuses on young people. It was founded in 2009 and has expanded to have oﬃces in Brussels, Geneva, Hong Kong, and Nairobi. It is a not-for-proﬁt organization, aiming to make the world a better place for young people by involving them in decision-making processes and providing decision-makers with high-quality research on youth conditions. ThinkYoung conducts studies and surveys, makes advocacy campaigns, writes policy proposals, and develops education programmes: up to date, ThinkYoung projects have reached over 800,000 young people.