People 'n' Issues

Festival offers free coding workshops

October 11th, 2016
Africa Code Week will be coming at the Cape Town Science Centre from 15 to 23 October with a wide variety of free coding workshops and other related activities for all ages.

As part of the week’s activities, the Science Centre based in Observatory just in front of the Groote Schuur Hospital will host two free-entry Festival of Code days on the Saturdays 15 and 22 October.  In addition, free after-school coding workshops will be held every afternoon from 17 to 21 October.

“We know that coding is a critical 21sts Century skill that is easily learnt and loads of fun,” says Julie Cleverdon, director of the Cape Town Science Centre and global coordinator of ACW. “The motto of Africa Code Week is: ‘Coding is a new language. Every child deserves to be fluent.’ That’s why the Cape Town Science Centre is endeavouring to make as many relevant activities in this week accessible to everyone. We are grateful for the support from both Woolworths Financial Services and SAP for making this possible at our centre.”

Activities include coding, data story-telling and robotic workshops; talks from some of the most talented and inspiring young coders in Cape Town and a host of other activities in addition to the opportunity to interact with the many hands-on exhibits in the Cape Town Science Centre.  Even if you’ve never written a line of code in your life, the workshops on offer will get participants started one step at a time. They are styled to help encourage today’s young digital consumers to become tomorrow’s digital creators. Based around Scratch, a popular system adopted by millions of young learners worldwide as it fosters youthful curiosity, promotes creativity, and provides a basis for lifelong programming learning.

In addition to the Cape Town Science Centre’s efforts, other Cape Town organisations have embraced the initiative and are set to create a coding buzz by organising a host of coding activities across the city. Those interested in attending these activities can visit the Africa Code Week live map, which itemises the events taking place in Cape Town, and indeed across Africa.

Africa Code Week (, first run in 2015, is a spearheaded by the software company SAP in association with the Galway Education Centre in Ireland and the Cape Town Science Centre. The first year of Africa Code Week sparked the interest of more than 89,000 children across 17 African countries to write their first lines of code. Of the 89 000 youth engaged continent-wide in 2016, almost 4,000 were from Cape Town and the Western Cape. This year the goal is to engage 150 000 children and youth in 30 African countries. Teachers and others in Cape Town can once again work towards achieving the goal for Africa Code Week in 2016 and empowering our youth.

To learn more about the activities for the Festival of Code taking place on the 15th and 22nd of October at the Cape Town Science Centre, visit ( or contact the Cape Town Science Centre on (021) 300-3200.

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