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How to Use Momentum from Africa Code Week

Owen Poindexter

How to Use Momentum from Africa Code Week's Image

This October, Africa Code Week will embark on an ambitious project: giving 20,000 children across 17 African countries an introduction to coding, October 1-10. Based on a rationale familiar to coding discussions in the U.S., the initiative finds that traditional education systems are not producing software engineers at the rate the economy requires. Kickstarting broader coding education today will pay dividends down the road.

An article this week in Wamda highlights the hopes that Africa Code Week will gear today’s education toward tomorrow’s needs:

“Some 11 million youth are expected to enter the African labor market every year over the next decade. Digital jobs could increase their income by 40 percent to 200 percent, according to Africa Code Week….

Volunteer coders will offer their services and organize hundreds of free workshops for three different age groups in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia - but also online with Google CS (Computer Science) first.”

It goes without saying that this is a fantastic initiative. One of the largest barriers to coding education is the feeling of intimidation: people tend to assume programming is the realm of those who intuitively understand computers and math. Actual software engineers know that this is far from the truth--coding is as much about design, creativity and engineering as it is about math and logic. By guiding students through the fundamentals and creating pop-up communities around coding, Africa Code Week will show thousands of children that programming is a potential path for them.

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Remote student Chibueze Ukaegbu started an intensive coding school in Nigeria after completing the Hack Reactor program.

The biggest remaining piece of the puzzle is infrastructure. This means both physical tools--namely computers and internet access, and human resources: people and institutions that can help students continue to learn. Hack Reactor has supported programs in Nigeria and Kenya to build the coding education infrastructure. The Moringa School, based in Nairobi, has worked with Hack Reactor on curriculum design, and Hack Reactor has sent graduates to the Moringa School to work with teachers and students on a 7-week fellowship. LearnFactory Nigeria was started by Chibueze Ukaegbu, a graduate of our first Remote program cohort. It is both an immersive JavaScript school, and a collaborative space for entrepreneurs. Programs like these help take the momentum started by initiatives like Africa Code Week and turn it into career skills.

Making computer science education accessible is a large, multi-level issue, but it can be solved, especially when committed organizations tackle specific sub-issues and move the entire project forward.

Want to get the most efficient, effective coding education out there? Apply to our program, online or in four major cities, today.

Read more:

Alumni Help Establish Kenya-Based Developer Program

Remote Beta Student Chibueze Ukaegbu to Start JavaScript-Focused School in Nigeria

Hack Reactor and Mission Bit Announce Partnership to Create Pipeline into Tech for San Francisco Students