CoderDojo joins with US State Dept to bring coding to Africa

13 Dec 2013236 Views

Born-in-Ireland coding organisation CoderDojo has joined forces with the U.S. State Department’s Global Partnership Initiative and the Lions@frica initiative, to teach youth in Africa 21st-century coding skills.

afriCoderDojo, a Lions@frica partnership initiative, is also a pan-African effort to teach young people the ability to understand and build fluency in coding, and learn the computer languages that are used to develop websites, mobile phone applications, computer programs, and electronic games.

Based on the global open-source CoderDojo movement, afriCoderDojo will rely on a volunteer network of implementers and experienced coders located across Africa to run the two-month learning programme.

Since the first CoderDojo in Cork, Ireland, two summers back, the organisation has swept the world with dojos sprouting up in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, LA, the Caribbean, Africa and Australia. On any given Saturday, as many as 16,000 kids in 26 countries gather to learn skills and abilities that will stand to them in the 21st-century economy.

Enabling Africa’s next generation of innovators

afriCoderDojo aims to provide young people with the basics of coding through a fun and motivating curriculum. Guest lecturers, local technology entrepreneurs, and US embassies across Africa will also be invited to participate in the learning programme to highlight and showcase career opportunities in the field of internet technology.

“What’s so exciting about this partnership is that it promotes hands-on, world-class coding skills to Africa’s next generation of innovators,” said Andrew O’Brien, special representative of the Global Partnership Initiative at the U.S. Department of State. “We are proud to be part of an initiative that will go a long way toward ensuring young people have the necessary skills, education, and drive to compete in tomorrow’s integrated marketplace.”

The inaugural afriCoderDojo clubs are due to launch in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, and Lagos, Nigeria, in January 2014. The groups will be sponsored by the Dar Teknohama Business Incubator, a national incubator for technology businesses in Tanzania, and Oando Foundation, an independent charity established by Oando PLC, Africa’s largest integrated energy company in Nigeria.

Africa image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist. He joined Silicon Republic in 2002 to become the fulcrum of the company’s news service He was recipient of the Irish Internet Association’s NetVisionary Technology Journalist Award 2005 and has been awarded ‘Best Technology Site’ at the Irish Web Awards seven times. In 2011 he received the David Manley Award commending him for his dedication to covering entrepreneurs. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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