Africa Code Week, a brilliant example of the positive effects of collaboration to improve education

How can public policies support the transformation of education? 

Below is the written speech of Mr Albert Nsengiyumva, ADEA Executive Secretary, at the launching ceremony of Africa Code Week (ACW) 2022. His speech was developed as a response to two main questions: 

  • How can we ensure that decision-makers align their vision with the needs of the young generation?
  • How can public policies support the transformation of education? 

We are now in a world where cooperation between the Private and the Public sectors is no longer an option. The demands of the corporate world as well as the skills needed to launch a new business need to be blended with basic learning and knowledge. 

I would also like to add that the soft skills that are inherently taught with digital literacy will turn out to be critical assets when the students of today hit the job market. Resilience, teamwork, problem solving, and computational logic are the new subjects that should and will infuse more and more in the national curricula moving forward.

To prepare the African workforce of tomorrow, it takes skilled teachers that are aware of the stakes and who will encourage their students to innovate and look deep in their creative minds for the solutions to a given problem.

It takes parents that realize the importance of technology and the opportunities it represents for their children and the communities. 

It will take policymakers, decision-makers, who will make it a national priority to create appropriate learning conditions and infrastructure for the booming youth of Africa.

But before that, it takes a common understanding, a joint vision, to not watch our continent being left behind as the world develops.

As we engage in a learning recovery after the COVID 19 crisis, ADEA invited stakeholders and partners in Mauritius this month for our 2022 Triennale convening to reflect on the policies and synergies that can be explored to rebuild learning structures. Innovation and resilience are key when it comes to developing a continent as young as Africa. The youth occupy a demographic place that gives them a central role to play. 

Who better that those who will inherit our world to tell us how they need it to be? What synergies, what partnerships can we lay off as foundations for them to build upon? What can we prepare today for them to thrive tomorrow? 

Supporting the transformation of education means looking back at how it is today and learning from our errors, learning from the lack of material or financial means, and instead of seeing them as something that is missing today, let’s look at them as room for innovation, space for creation and opportunities for growth and development. 

Success isn’t built in one day. Africa Code Week is a brilliant example of how collaboration, patient efforts and relentless commitment can have a positive effect on an entire continent.

In 7 years, more than 10 million children had a first touch at programming. Now with a continental coding competition, engaging more than 40 countries every year, a leadership program for women that spans all the way to Asia, Africa Code Week has demonstrated the power of Public-Private Partnerships when it comes to transforming the way we teach and the way we learn on our continent.

The vision of ADEA is to unite Africa around our continental ambition to make quality education for all a priority. We are proud to co-host the Morocco Transition Meeting very soon with SAP, as this will be the opportunity for us to reiterate our commitment to make digital literacy accessible to all the children, youth and teachers. 

Our future has already started, and it will not develop without us, because we are already at work, and regardless of gender, age, location or ability, the youth of Africa is taking its place on the world stage, and we will be there to secure a safe place for them to think, learn, and thrive.