AfriCAN Code Challenge

All Female TOP 3 use Tech to Change the Future of Education

After a rigorous round of judging for this year’s AfriCAN Code Challenge, SAP Africa Code Week’s top 10 winners were announced and special highlights include the top 3 being all-female, aged 10 – 16 years, with Soliyana, 10 years old from Ethiopia as the Pan-African winner of the competition.

“Despite the Covid-disruption for schools which impacted hundreds of millions of youth across Africa, children from more than 54 countries stepped-up to share their vision of the future of education,” says Africa Code Week’s Global Coordinator, Olajide Ademola Ajayi.

Ajayi continues to say that the youth engagement throughout the challenge was incredibly inspiring, “While there can ultimately be only one winner, the quality of entries at the inaugural AfriCAN Code Challenge encouraged hope and confidence for Africa’s future, shaped by the largest youth population in the world.”

Launched by SAP Africa Code Week and partners UNESCO, Irish Aid, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and Jokkolabs in September 2020, the AfriCAN Code Challenge is a pan-African coding competition where youth aged 8 – 16 were tasked with coding a game using the Scratch programming language to answer the question: “How will your tech change the future of education?”

During the AfriCAN Code Challenge youth were able to enter alone or in teams of up to five people, and entries featured a two-minute YouTube clip showcasing how their game works and why it should be considered a winning entry. The unique initiative and entry mechanism called upon the children’s ability to design a project that would solve a community-issue, code it, and communicate it.

During the opening rounds of the challenge, participation reached across 40 countries and featured 100 project video clips, only the top three entries from 36 countries made it into the continental final, followed by 22 countries in the final judging stage.

Selected by a high-level jury composed of key Africa Code Week delegates and STEM education experts, the top three of the AfriCAN Code Challenge is:

  • First place: EthiopiaMathstainement by Soliyana, 10 years old
  • Second place: South AfricaSpace Quest by Kayla, 15 years old
  • Third place: AlgeriaWelcome to the Best School by Sarah, 16 years old

Followed by:

The jury also awarded two superior prizes for ‘Outstanding Government Support’ to Morocco and Nigeria, where the competition was implemented by the Ministries of Education, and received strong institutional support.

Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility and Co-founder of Africa Code Week at SAP celebrates the joyous occasion, “The all-female top three proves that the future of tech cannot be envisioned without girls. Once again, this year’s ACW initiative increased its female participation and these incredible achievements highlight the massive strides that SAP, partners and the ACW programme continue to make in closing gender gap and build an all-inclusive digital world.”

“In addition to the winners, we also give thanks to the ongoing support from Government, who join us on our digital journey and believe in the importance and relevance of 21st century learning for the development of native African excellence. The solid base of our partnership with the Moroccan and Nigerian Ministries of Education is the foundation of a successful model which we wish to replicate throughout Africa, to encourage governments to include computer coding in their national curricula.”

For more information about SAP Africa Code Week and the AfriCAN Code Challenge, visit

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