South Africa based tuition free program for aspiring software engineers WeThinkCode has secured Sh400 million ($4.4m) to train 100,000 Africans.
The funding from ICT solutions provider BCX will see the code trainers join other tech companies such as Code Bus, IBM, Andela among others that are pushing IT learning and coding classes across Africa to promote digital literacy.
WeThinkCode was launched in South Africa in 2015 with the goal of eliminating the skills shortage through the development of 100 000 coders in Africa over the next 10 years. The educational initiative says only 200 students were admitted from the 40,000 applications it received from South African students.
WeThinkCode is open to youth aged between 17 and 35. Students don’t need previous education to be considered for enrolment which is conducted through an aptitude test followed by a 4-week boot camp before starting on the two-year course in programming and coding.
Students will be given opportunities to join internship programmes at BCX and other Telkom Group partners as part of their training.
Arlene Mulder, Managing Director and co-founder of WeThinkCode said, “The careers of the future in this country depend on technology skills and it is extremely important that businesses like BCX, a leader in digitalisation, work with us to allow our students every opportunity to develop their talents to create world-changing solutions for the digital era.”
A 2015 survey by the Joburg Centre for Software engineering found that South African businesses were in need of up to 70,000 skilled IT workers. The inability to fill these vacancies locally has meant that companies are recruiting talent from other parts of the world.