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Accenture Celebrates 15 Young Minds Graduating From The CoderDojo Programme

  • EDITORIAL
  • 3 min read

A leading global professional services company, Accenture (NYSE: ACN), in partnership with the Olieven Development Association, celebrated 15 young South Africans aged 7 to 16 years who graduated from its CoderDojo programme at the Mentec Foundation on 2 December 2023. The graduations signal the company’s commitment to empowering the youth to participate in a more economically inclusive world.

Speaking at the ceremony, Khethiwe Nkuna – Responsible Business Executive at Accenture in South Africa said: “Today, we celebrate the graduation of these talented young minds from the CoderDojo programme, we are witnessing the shaping of our future leaders in technology. The need for digital literacy and skills development has never been more critical, especially here in Africa, and Accenture is committed to playing a pivotal role in driving this transformation.”

Bridging Africa’s digital skills gap

Recent World Bank data underscores a critical challenge facing the African continent in the digital age. According to these findings, 87% of African business leaders have identified digital skills development as a crucial area needing urgent investment. This urgency is highlighted by the fact that in 2022, African countries scored below five on the Digital Skills Gap Index, trailing behind the global average of six.

Accenture’s CoderDojo programme is playing a vital role in bridging this divide. By targeting young minds from diverse backgrounds, particularly in underserved communities like Olievenhoutbosch, the programme is directly contributing to elevating the digital proficiency levels within the continent.

Through its comprehensive curriculum encompassing critical areas such as Design Thinking, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and SQL, the company provides young learners with foundational knowledge of technology and nurtures critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

A long-term investment in digital skills development

Accenture employees also dedicate their time and expertise to mentoring these future tech leaders through the Hour of Code initiative. Every year, employees pledge to complete more than 10 000 hours towards coding tutorial sessions globally. This is part of the company’s commitment to helping future generations build computer and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills.

Launched in 2016 Accenture’s CoderDojo has equipped over 140 youth in South Africa with digital and coding skills by encouraging creativity and fun in relaxed learning environments called dojos.

This year’s intake started in February and was face-to-face for the first time since the pandemic.

“Involving our employees as mentors adds a practical dimension to this learning, ensuring that these young minds gain hands-on experience and insights into real-world applications of technology. This graduation event is more than just a celebration of learning but a beacon of hope and a strong statement of our dedication to nurturing STEM skills in the youth to create a tech-focused future in Africa driven by a digitally empowered generation,” concludes Nkuna.