9:30 am, Fidjrossè. In the streets of this popular district of Cotonou, a young 9-year-old child, her backpack well hung, walks, looking like a model student. Her name ? Dove.

Since August 03, she has been traveling about one kilometer from her home to the TEKXL laboratory to go to a school which most young people her age are still ignorant of: the school of computer programming thanks to the Learn2Code program.

Like her, around twenty other children have joined this program, which is an initiative of EtriLabs and TEKXL, a start-up accelerator.

What is Learn2Code?

“If we want young people to be interested in programming and technologies and choose trades in these fields, they should be initiated from an early age,” said Ulrich Sossou, co-founder of TEKXL.

In a society where the IT tool has ceased to be a myth, but where most of the users are still passive consumers, Learn2Code is a holiday camp which aims to initiate young children and adolescents to computer programming. The age group used is that of 10-22 year olds.

The program aims to get young people out of the shackles of passive consumption, to make them more productive in front of the computer, to teach them the art of creativity and innovation with new technologies, as well as the desire to learn in a completely fun way. Initiated in 2014, the program is in its second edition this year.

A revealing first edition

In July-August 2014, the first edition registered more than forty participants, most of whom could, in just a few weeks, program basic games and applications. At the end of the program, some young prodigies were revealed. Among them, Bernardin, then 13 years old.

Already having a certain basis in programming (knowledge of HTML and CSS) – which also earned him the merit of participating in the camp with the 17-22 age group – Learn2Code allowed him to deepen his knowledge of HTML and CSS and to acquire the basics of PHP which he subsequently deepened. Today, motivated by the wealth of interviews he had and still has with Ulrich Sossou, he learns to program with Python and dreams of being the next Steve Jobs or Marc Zuckerberg.

Learn2Code, how does it work?

For an excellent assimilation of the learners and a good course of the courses which are purely practical, two sessions are set up. The first takes into account the 10 to 16 bracket and includes two cohorts. The first cohort is taken care of from August 3 to 18 from 10 am to 1 pm and for the second, learning begins on August 18 and ends on September 04.

It was therefore with the first cohort that Colombe, barely 9 years old, learned digital skills. The older ones take part in the student session with the exception of those under 17 who have a certain IT background, as was the case with the young Bernardin in 2014. The session for the youngest counts this year , 25 young learners while that of the oldest, which started on August 10 and ends on August 25, has 15.

A fun learning method

“The camp allows me to create games myself and know what computer programming is. “, AGBOZOGNIGBE Phoris Andy.

To achieve the objectives of the camp, EtriLabs and TEKXL have made available to the program instructors experienced in the art of computer programming and who maintain in a fun way the learners who, each in front of their instructor, gradually follow the stages of their initiation . Crescendo, the basics are laid and the concepts assimilated.

The children manage, in a few days, to create characters, to move them and to create stories from nothing. Their creativity is called upon throughout the training, at the end of which each of them must create a program which can be a game or a small utility application.

With the Learn2Code program from TEKXL and EtriLabs, Benin, with the very young, is thus starting a certain and inexorable march towards a world where digital is omnipresent, a society where most jobs will require digital skills. It is, moreover, a crucial step for the development of Africa.

This sentence by Ulrich Sossou pretty well sums up the issue: “If we want the African continent to develop, talents should be cultivated and great things should be done to promote technology in Africa, not as consumers but as producers ”.

Read on: http://ecceafrica.com/learn2code-programmation-informatique-enfants/#.VkXFaXaKHIU

About The Author

CEO AfrikaTech

Comme beaucoup de personnes j’ai connu l’Afrique à travers des stéréotypes : l’Afrique est pauvre, il y a la guerre, famine… Je suis devenu entrepreneur pour briser ces clichés et participer à la construction du continent. J’ai lancé plusieurs entreprises dont Kareea (Formation et développement web), Tutorys (Plate-forme de e-learning), AfrikanFunding (Plate-forme de crowdfunding). Après un échec sur ma startup Tutorys, à cause d’une mauvaise exécution Business, un manque de réseau, pas de mentor, je suis parti 6 mois en immersion dans l’écosystème Tech au Sénégal. J’ai rencontré de nombreux entrepreneurs passionnés, talentueux et déterminés. A mon retour sur Paris je décide de raconter leur histoire en créant le média AfrikaTech. L'objectif est de soutenir les entrepreneurs qui se battent quotidiennement en Afrique en leur offrant la visibilité, les connaissances, le réseautage et les capitaux nécessaires pour réussir. L'Afrique de demain se construit aujourd'hui ensemble. Rejoignez-nous ! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/boubacardiallo

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