The biggest reason why we partnered with the University of Zululand Computer Sciences Department back in 2017 and started a Coding Initiative was to address a massive digital skills gap & cultivate an entrepreneur-driven culture within South Africa.
Over the years, we have managed to train and mentor over 300 student Computer Scientists with some landing work for giants such as Amazon, CSIR, Google to mention just a few. We also offer some students an internship within our organizations to give them the skills they need the most to thrive in today's workplace and economy.
However we realized that the impact is not to the level we would want it to be and hence the expansion of the programme to accommodate kids as young as 8 years old. At AlgoAtWork #Robotics Academy, we expose children to Software Engineering, Product Development and Prototyping, we prepare and develop the next generation industrialists, engineers and entrepreneurs to compete in the ever-changing and demanding global markets.
The Academy is built around the need to reposition Umhlathuze (the city) as a startup city and Innovation destination.
We genuinely believe that to attract the massive amounts of local and foreign investment needed to unlock economic growth there can't be shortcuts - we need to dirty our hands and with long-term objectives; drive sustainable development programs that will bring about the returns we desperately seek within the next 5-10 years and beyond.
These juniors are therefore important in creating this new brand of a city that will be saturated with inventions that will not only innovate the city but disrupt the global market in a few years time.
What we see happening in Israel, Singapore, Estonia and China can be replicated anywhere in the world so long as we are genuine with our intentions, truthful to the mission and passionate about the future.