By Theophil Laurian Pima
On 5th March 2014 the Dar Teknohama Business Incubator which is an independent autonomous entinty managed by COSTECH launched a new initiative in Africa called afriCoderDojo at Sayansi Area Kijitonyama in Dar es Salaam.The Africoderdojo programme is an exciting pan-African initiative organized by the Government of Tanzania, Ireland and United States of America to teach African youth 21st century skills through an innovative link-up with CoderDojo and Hello World Foundation.
Speaking During that occasion, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology Dr Patrick Makungu said the Government of Tanzania knows the contribution of Information and Communication Technology to the national economy and that is why it allowed the operations of the Dar Teknohama Business Incubator under COSTECH.
“The Government is very pleased to see efforts of these young scientists in learning computer coding system. Our hope is to see these pupils implement the vision of our ministry which is to facilitate human capital development and knowledge generation for sustainable wealth creation and better livelihood of Tanzanians through policy development, and promotion of science, technology and ICT” He said
Shree Hindu Mandal Standard Seven pupil,Najma Aboubakar presents about her home made Cartoon before the Guest of Honour. She is flanked by Abey Kamote From Immaculate Primary School.
Different Pupils from selected schools pay attention to presentation about Africoderdojo Programme
On his part the Irish Ambassador to Tanzania her Excellency Fionnuala Gilsenan explained the concept of AfricoderDojo programme. She said the Programme started as a simple Project which then turned to be a brand new LIONS@FRICA partnership initiative to help teach 21st century coding skills to Africa’s youth.
“The concept is simple: AfricoderDojo teaches young people to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more while having fun”She explained
She also noted that, Ireland tries to implement that program based on the global CoderDojo movement and relies on a volunteer network of implementers and mentors to teach youth the basics of coding anywhere there is a computer and an internet connection.
COSTECH Director General Dr. Hassan Mshinda said,it is only 1% of kids in developed countries leave schools with coding skills. He pointed out that the number of African children taught coding, the language of computer programming, is virtually zero which is a lost opportunity.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for COSTECH, young Scientists and the whole country as it is only implemented in two countries in Africa,Tanzania and Nigeria”He noted promising that COSTECH and DTBI will leave no stone unturned to make the program successful
Irish Ambassador to Tanzania her Excellency Fionnuala Gilsenan (right) explains in Kiswahili how AfricoderDojo Programme is very important to Tanzania pupils. Looking on are COSTECH Director General Dr. Hassan Mshinda and DTBI Chief Executive Officer Engineer George Mulamula.