On 14 July 2012, Computer Aid International in conjunction with our partners Coders4Africa conducted a one-day Boot Camp to teach Android and J2ME coding (computer programming) languages to university students in Voi, Taita Taveta District, Kenya. Computer Aid’s Africa Regional Office acts as Program Manager for the Kenya Country Chapter of Coders4Africa. Coders4Africa is an independent nonprofit organization that provides training, education and development infrastructure, logistics and intellectual support to IT professionals in Africa.
Most Computer Aid/Coders4Africa Kenya events are held in the Nairobi area. This special Boot Camp came at the request of student government leaders in Taita Taveta who had been prevented by distance from participating in the Coders4Africa Kenya Chapter. Computer Aid, with donor support, agreed to sponsor this traveling Boot Camp coupled with an Exchange Visit in order to broaden our geographic support for the coding community in Kenya. Computer Aid’s Training Coordinator travelled with the Coders4Africa Technical Manager and eight university students active in the Chapter to carry out this event.
This Boot Camp was hosted by Taita Taveta University College (also known as the Taita Taveta campus of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology). 42 students pursuing degrees, diplomas and certifications in IT-related fields at the university were trained. The Boot Camp was facilitated by the group of coders who travelled from Nairobi in two sections: Android and J2ME (Java script). Both of these coding languages are used for cutting-edge mobile platforms; learning them will help students to be more employable once they complete university. At the end of the day, the exchange group from Nairobi hosted an open meeting for any interested students on campus to learn more about Coders4Africa and Computer Aid, with a special focus of empowering more women to become active coders. One coder who is also a Google Student Ambassador explained the different benefits Google offers for students.
The Boot Camp and Exchange Visit Trip was a great opportunity to help build a cooperative network of coders across Kenya: one of the main goals of the Coders4Africa chapter. Computer Aid’s Africa Regional staff were very pleased to be able to support this successful exercise in the service of our goal of changing people’s lives through IT skills capacity building.
For more information about partnering with Computer Aid on IT training, please contact Training Coordinator Kristen Houlton at email@example.com.