To celebrate 100 years of Finland, young computer coders kick off a continent-wide tour
Leading education and technology organizations from Finland and Ghana will come together this month to run creative coding workshops for local students in Accra. The collaboration is part of the CodeBus Africa project, a 100-day tour connecting Finnish and African innovators as part of Finland’s official 100th anniversary celebrations.
CodeBus Africa will be launched in Ghana in partnership with the Finnish Aalto University as well as Accra-based technology hubs Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and STEMbees. The project, which has the strong support of Nokia, will place special emphasis on involving girls who still remain underrepresented among the users and creators of technology.
With its focus firmly on the young, this innovative activity will consist of creative coding work- shops. Students will pair up to learn coding and to produce their own song with the free open-source platform Sonic Pi. Peer support, creative self-expression and a tangible final product are all elements designed to make the learning experience positive and rewarding. At least half of the participants in the workshops will be girls. The aim of the project is to boost grassroots level teaching of computer programming and to contribute to long-term efforts to promote quality edu- cation, youth empowerment and employment.
Ghana will be the first stop of the CodeBus Africa journey that will span another nine countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia – between February and May 2017. “I am delighted that this continent-wide project is launched in Ghana, a country well-known for its talented coders,” said Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, Ambassador of Finland to Ghana. “I find it particularly important to reach out to the young, focusing on education and employment – critical factors in successfully building the future of any country.”
“We are very lucky to have such great local partners as MEST and STEMbees working with us. They have a critical role in planning and implementing the project, and have been absolutely in- valuable. Without them this project simply would not have been possible. I am also extremely grateful for the support of Nokia. As a global leader in innovation and technology worldwide, they have the capacity to transform lives through shaping the future of technology. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work together with them in putting this capacity into the use of the com- mon good.”
The CodeBus Africa tour will be documented on the project website www.codebusafrica.com, as well as on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter between February and May 2017.
CodeBus Africa is coordinated by Aalto Global Impact, which promotes Aalto University’s societal impact globally through education, research and innovation. The project’s organising partners are the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Nokia, Supercell, Mehackit and over 15 African tech- nology hubs, educational institutions and organisations.