Kids, youngsters invited to coding workshops

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Staff Reporter
Windhoek

CodeBus’ 100-day tour across Sub-Saharan Africa has been in Namibia since Monday with five stops – in Rundu, Windhoek, Mariental, Otjiwarango and Walvis Bay – until May 6.

This year the republic of Finland is celebrating 100 years of independence. The main event for “#Finland100” on the African continent is the CodeBus Africa initiative. During these visits, a total of four one-day programming workshops will be organised by Aalto University and the Embassy of Finland in partnership with the Namibian University of Science and Technology and the National Youth Council. The workshops target youngsters aged 12–20 years, with a special focus on girls, who will learn to code their own piece of music with a free open source platform Sonic Pi. At the end of the day, the youth get to perform their own song for the group. The workshop curriculum is designed for beginners.

CodeBus Africa is a 100-day adventure into creative technology and youth empowerment. It brings together African and Finnish innovators in technology and education to organize creative coding workshops for young people in 10 African countries between February and May 2017. CodeBus Africa strives to inspire African youth to discover and make use of technology in their lives, and empower especially girls to explore technology’s possibilities for their future.

The project is led by Aalto University, the leading innovation university in Finland, and organized jointly by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and local technology hubs, NGOs and educational institutes. Finnish corporate partners include Nokia, the project’s main sponsor, and Mehackit, a technology education startup based in Helsinki. The key objectives of the project are:

To support equal opportunities in technology. The project aims at advancing equal opportunities for children and youth to explore technology’s possibilities for their future. Special focus is placed on engaging girls.

To partner with local tech hubs to build capacity for teaching beginner-level programming. The project aims at building digital literacy among youth at the grassroots level through local partners.

To boost cooperation between Finnish and Namibian innovators. The project aims at making Finland more known in Namibia, and Namibia in Finland, and facilitating a dialogue between Finnish and Namibian youth and young professionals.

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