Last week, Africa Code week recieved the Judges’ Choice Award in the Corporate Initiative Category for the MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition.

In recognition of its impactful digital skills development programme, Africa Code Week (ACW), SAP was selected from more than 240 applicant organisations as recipient of the Judge’s Choice Award in the corporate category, for its fast-track and creative approach to driving economic opportunity in the digital age, rated as best-in-class.

“We are honoured to have received this acknowledgement,” says Claire Gillissen-Duval, SAP ACW Global Project Lead.

“ACW is very close to our hearts and it was easy for the judging panel to see why”.

Founded in 2015, the initiative is Africa’s largest literacy event which aims to simplify the face of software coding for Africa’s youth. “ACW has the power to change Africa, acting as the driving force for digital literacy across the continent and shape tomorrow’s skilled workforce.” states Gillissen-Duval.

The goal of the IIC is to identify organisations that are harnessing digital innovations to create shared prosperity, creating a more inclusive, productive, and sustainable future for all. Award candidates were chosen based on their innovative support of people who earn middle- and base-level incomes.

According to United Nations, a total of 11 million African youth will seek employment every single year, until 2020. With a shortage of education resources across the continent, the future of Africa’s youth is dire. ACW presents an opportunity to change this.

“A McKinsey Global Survey states that at least 45 million medium skilled positions will be in demand globally by the year 2020 -many of them in Africa,” commented Gillissen-Duval. “Coding is a new language that every child deserves to be fluent in. By empowering Africa’s youth through the provision of digital skills, ACW has the potential to change the face of the continent.”

Spearheaded by SAP, world leader in enterprise software, and with the support of hundreds of international and African partners, ACW’s inaugural year saw approximately 90,000 youth, across 17 African countries, introduced to coding within a mere ten days – four times the initial goal.

Taking place from 15-23 October, this year will see that extended to 150,000 youth across 30 countries. “Our goal is to reach 5 million students over the next ten years – providing them all with job relevant coding skills”, said Gillissen-Duval.

In recognition of its leadership and to further support its efforts, SAP received a $25,000 award during the IIC Awards Celebration held at MIT, and will donate the monetary award directly to the Cape Town Science Centre – a key ACW partner, to further develop the programme and take it to new heights.

In addition to its involvement in ACW, The Cape Town Science Centre partners with numerous parties to promote the importance of the Science Centre as a platform for the delivery of science and technology learning, and the importance of collaboration for the greater good.

“Our involvement with ACW speaks directly to our core belief – to encourage and promote the importance of science and technology in today’s world,” said Julie Cleverdon of the Cape Town Science Centre, in attendance at today’s award ceremony. “We are proud to be involved in this popular initiative that has the ability to leverage far reaching change, and we are extremely thankful to SAP for its continuing commitment and support.”