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_Chief Master Instructor and Clas Neumann_

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, 19 June 2017,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The
2017 edition of Africa Code Week officially kicked off yesterday in
Flic-En-Flac, Mauritius. Now in its third year, Africa Code Week aims to
spread coding literacy among African youth, with a key focus on female
skills development and training.

Started in 2015 by SAP Corporate Social Responsibility EMEA and several
public and private sector partners, the initiative has a long-term goal
of empowering more than 200 000 teachers and positively impacting the
lives of 5 million children and youth within the next 10 years. In 2016,
more than 426 000 young Africans across 30 countries learnt computer
coding basics as part of Africa Code Week, beating initial targets of
150 000 by miles. This year, SAP set a target of impacting the lives of
500 000 youth across 35 African countries from 18-25 October. “By
learning the new language of coding in an open, supportive environment,
young Africans are able to take advantage of the immense opportunities
presented by the digital revolution and become active players of the
global economy,” says Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate
Social Responsibility at SAP and Global Project Lead for Africa Code
Week.

By 2040, Africa is projected to have a working age population of more
than 1 billion. “Considering the growing global shortage in technical
skills, Africa has a unique opportunity to take a lead role in powering
the global economy,” says Clas Neumann, Senior VP, Lead of Fast Growth
Market Strategy at SAP. “However, the lack of widely available education
in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) fields could
undermine the continent’s ability to equip this growing workforce with
the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy. Africa Code Week
is one way of reaching out to even remote corners of the continent and
creating interest in the opportunities only the digital world can offer.
We hope, that this will help inspiring young Africans to pursue careers
that will drive the continent’s digital transformation.”

A PLATFORM FOR DIGITAL SERVICE DELIVERY IN AFRICA

Since gaining independence in 1968, Mauritius has undergone a remarkable
economic transformation from a low-income, mostly agriculture-based
economy to a diversified, upper-middle income country with vibrant
sugar, tourism, ICT, hospitality, and property development industries.
Today, it is one of the leading African countries across a range of
indexes, most notably scoring 1st place in Africa in the World Economic
Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index and United Nations’ Human
Development Index. With the highest ICT Development Index of all African
countries, the Republic of Mauritius also continues to lead the way in
the integration of ICT as a socioeconomic growth accelerator.

According to the latest government statistics, nearly a third of current
Mauritian students are enrolled in a STEM-related course. However,
according to Mauritian President H.e. Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the
sector’s workforce impact remains low due to a lack of sufficient talent
needed to take the sector to new heights. “There is only one way to
transform Africa’s ‘youth bulge’ into an unprecedented opportunity for
growth and social peace: Education,” says President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim.
“The Republic of Mauritius is keen to support and participate in Africa
Code Week this year and I look forward to working with all stakeholders
from the public and private sector to drive STEM skills development
nationwide and across the African continent.”

THE CALL FOR DIVERSITY

Prevailing stereotypes and cultural barriers typically mean women are
1.6 more likely to report a lack of digital skills as a barrier to their
participation in the digital economy. “If Africa is to realize its
potential and provide the workforce that will power the global economic
engine in the long run, more must be done to empower girls and women by
promoting digital skills development and improve their job prospects,”
said Gillissen-Duval.

The Mauritian government has taken several measures to promote gender
equality, including repealing discriminatory laws, and the appointment
of equal opportunity officers in principal ministries to deal with
women’s issues. The Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and
Family Welfare also recently launched [3]the second annual Model
Commission on the Status of Women, a country-wide initiative encouraging
youth to promote and reflect on the social, economic, and political
rights of women. Mauritius’s efforts towards empowering the next
generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs are very much in line
with the #eSkills4Girls mission: a joint initiative by the German
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), SAP,
Africa Code Week and UNESCO to overcome the gender digital divide and
improve digital skills and employment opportunities for girls and women
in emerging and developing countries.

THE VALUE OF PARTNERSHIPS

Africa Code Week is now actively supported by a fast-growing network of
strategic partners – including UNESCO YouthMobile, BMZ, the Cape Town
Science Centre, the Galway Education Centre, Google, ALink Telecom,
Fondation Life Builders, DreamOval Foundation, Camara Education and 10
African governments. Among the latter public-sector partners, the
Moroccan Ministry of Education and Vocational Training won the ACW
friendly competition two years in a row with a record of 200,000 young
Moroccans engaged in Africa Code Week since 2015.

Brett Parker, President of SAP Africa, said Africa Code Week is a
shining example of how effective public-private partnership and open
collaboration can bring transformative change to Africa’s youth. “With a
wealth of youthful talent, a network of passionate teachers, and the
tremendous support of our key strategic partners, Africa Code Week has
gone from strength to strength, making a far-reaching and positive
impact on the fortunes of the continent’s youth. We are thankful to our
partners for their support in our effort to address the challenge of
female STEM skills development through Africa Code Week, and we look
forward to working with all stakeholders to empower a new generation of
digital innovators across the continent.”

The 2017 Africa Code Week initiative will take place across 35 countries
from 18-25 October. For more information about Africa Code Week, please
visit http://africacodeweek.org/ [4]

For more information about SAP Africa, visit the SAP News Center [5].
Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews [6]

_Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa._

ABOUT SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP)
helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office
to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP
empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and
use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition.
SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and
public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and
grow sustain-ably. For more information, visit www.sap.com [7].

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