SuaCode – Breaking the Coding Barrier in Africa with Smartphones
SuaCode is a smartphone-based online coding course that aims to teach millions across the African continent how to code! Learners will be introduced to the fundamentals of software programming in the Processing language using their smartphones with the Android Processing Development Environment. Processing is a visual and interactive programming language based on the Java programming language. Because of its graphical and interactive nature, it is an ideal choice of language to teach introductory programming. The only requirements for joining SuaCode are an Android device and a commitment to learning.
SuaCode was a truly accidental project that was born out of our need to innovate around the lack of laptops at our 4th annual Project iSWEST in 2017, leading us to introduce students to coding with smartphones – a first of its kind in Ghana! Most recently, we’ve published a paper of our work showing that with access to only a smartphone, a computer isn’t needed to introduce Ghanaian high school students to fundamental programming concepts. Over the course of the months, we hope to reach thousands more Africans, teaching them how to code from their smartphones.
With the projected 929.9 million smartphones in Africa by the year 2021, we have a grandiose plan to democratize coding education in Africa: teach millions of Africans with no access to computers and limited internet access how to code on smartphones via our project SuaCode. Through SuaCode, we will bring coding skills within arms reach of people across Africa, literally into their palms, thereby breaking the coding barrier in Africa as well as bridging its digital divide!
This year, our cofounder George Boateng has been shortlisted for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation by the U.K.’s Royal Academy of Engineering for SuaCode. In 2019, we won the 2019 African Union Education Innovation Prize and were a finalist for the 2020 Princeton Africa Summit Venture Competition. We also received a fellowship from the Processing Foundation to launch SuaCode Africa (2019) as we did in 2018 with the first pilot of SuaCode. We also received funding to support the project after being selected as a finalist for the 2017 Milken-Penn Business plan competition which is considered the most prestigious education business plan competition in the United States of America. We also received funding from Dartmouth’s Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship.
- Project iSWEST: Promoting a culture of innovation in Africa through STEM (2018)
- Keep Calm and Code on Your Phone: A Pilot of SuaCode, an Online Smartphone-Based Coding Course (2019)
- Kwame: A Bilingual AI Teaching Assistant for Online SuaCode Courses (2020)
- Academy recognises the entrepreneurial innovators shaping Africa, Royal Academy of Engineering (Winter 2021)
- Africa prize current and recent awardees 2021, Royal Academy of Engineering (Winter 2021)
- Guest Lecture by G. Boateng on SuaCode Africa 2.0: Teaching Coding Online to Africans using Smartphones during COVID-19, CDHI, (Winter 2021)
- Nsesa Launches SuaCode Africa 2.0 — A Smartphone-Based Online Coding Course for Africans: https://nsesafoundation.org/nsesa-launches-suacode-africa-2-0/
- SuaCode Ghana 2019 Coding Workshop: https://nsesafoundation.org/suacode-ghana-2019/
- Paper on SuaCode pilot presented by George Boateng (President, Nsesa Foundation) at the 2019 Computer Science Education Research Conference: https://nsesafoundation.org/nsesas-suacode-paper-presented-at-the-computer-science-education-research-conference/
- SuaCode wins African Union Education Innovation Prize: https://nsesafoundation.org/nsesas-suacode-wins-2019-african-union-education-innovation-prize/
- Nsesa Runs SuaCode Africa: https://nsesafoundation.org/nsesa-runs-suacode-africa/
- Prince Annor (SuaCode Lead) Processing Foundation Fellowship 2019 Interview: https://medium.com/processing-foundation/interview-with-2019-fellow-prince-steven-annor-ffb310e60401
- Q&A with George Boateng: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1y3zbOZc2w0p1tjOvC_rwDfvLzVPCO0xL/view
- George Boateng (President, Nsesa Foundation) Processing Foundation Fellowship 2018 Interview: https://medium.com/processing-foundation/suacode-breaking-the-coding-barrier-in-africa-with-smartphones-f41a3e432199
- Nsesa Foundation has been selected as a finalist for the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC): https://nsesafoundation.org/nsesa-selected-finalist-milken-penn-education-business-plan-competition/
If you are or know any education / EdTech organization or company in Africa interested in having our Kwame AI teaching assistant join their courses and help their students, share this with them, reach out to me or fill this form: bit.ly/sc-kaas
We are currently looking for partnerships and contacts to publicize SuaCode Africa across the continent.