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EDUCATION: WeThinkCode and Ecole 42 to Address Desperate IT Skills Shortage


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The quote from American educator John Dewey, "If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow", capture a major issue facing Sout Africa today. How does one narrow the gap and build an inclusive education environment accessible to all in a country with the legacy of a two-tiered system which excludes a major part of the population


Africa 2.0 is announced that it has partnered with WeThinkCode, a peer-to-peer tech institution launching in Johannesburg in 2016, dedicated to transforming technology education in order to bridge the gap between undeveloped talent and the desperate IT skills shortage in South Africa. In partnership with Ecole 42 in France, WeThinkCode_ will train world-class software engineers in a peer-to-peer problem-solving learning environment in a period of two years.

WeThinkCode_ aims to democratise education by removing barriers to access and providing opportunity to all young South Africans. The program is free and open to all talented and resilient candidates aged 17 to 35; regardless of previous education, socio-economic background or financial means. Student applications open on 1 October 2015.

WeThinkCode_ is a non-profit social enterprise and its partnerships with South African corporates ensure a sustainable business model. Corporate partners benefit from being able to identify and access exceptional human capital and IT expertise.

#BornToCode: Tech Leader Challenge

The top 100 tech leaders in South Africa are being challenged to see if they are #BornToCode in the Tech Leader Challenge 2015. The aim of the challenge is to raise awareness about the potential of South African youth to become world-class programmers regardless of previous education or socio-economic background.

The rapid evolution of the digital era has a profound impact on business and society in Africa. The IT skills shortage, however, hampers the economic growth and social transformation that could be generated. South Africa currently has an estimated 200,000 vacancies in the ICT sector, while 3.4 million youth between 18 and 29 are unemployed. WeThinkCode_ aims to tap into this pool of untapped talent to source and train the country's future tech leaders.

The inaugural #BornToCode event, taking place on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 will give tech leaders the chance to join the conversation and demonstrate their coding talent. The country's foremost tech champions will be challenged to take the student aptitude test game and compete for the top 10 positions of the #BornToCode Tech Leaderboard.

WeThinkCode_ calls on all business leaders who are passionate about making a significant impact in education and believe in the potential of developing the software engineering industry South African to join its #BornToCode Tech Leader Challenge and sign up. Tech leaders are required to donate a minimum of R25,600, which covers a stipend to help students through their studies. All funds raised will go toward opening the WeThinkCode_ campus in January 2016. More than 20 tech leaders have already signed up, including Mamadou Toure, Founder of Africa 2.0, Stafford Masie, Founder of thumbzup and Peter Alkema, CIO of FNB Business.


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