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South Africa: bandwidth deal to empower coders

South Africa: bandwidth deal to empower coders.

Pan-African network service provider Workonline Communications has announced its sponsorship of high-speed internet access for tech incubator WeThinkCode.

In partnership with Ecole 42 in France, WeThinkCode aims to help develop leading software engineers from the ranks of South Africa's youth.

"We have set ourselves ambitious targets, which we believe are realistic due to the scalability of our education model," says Camille Agon, co-founder of WeThinkCode_. "This year, we will train 100 students, but we are aiming for 1 000 students by 2018, on our way towards training 100 000 coders across the continent."

"However, these goals come at a cost and that is why we are grateful for the contributions of the likes of Workonline Communications. High quality bandwidth will go a long way towards securing our ability to provide free education to the large expected numbers of learners who enrol for our course."

According to WeThinkCode internet penetration continues to increase and this unlocks opportunities for those who acquire IT skills, including coding.

Edward Lawrence, Director of Business Development at Workonline Communications, said. "We believe that it is very important for corporates to give back to the communities in which they operate. We are only as successful as the connectivity of a region allows us to be, or the economy in which we operate, therefore it is in our interest to invest in companies, start-ups and individuals that contribute to the development of the industry as a whole."

Both Workonline Communications and WeThinkCode reaffirm the potential of the IT industry in helping to build up emerging economies and address unemployment woes.

"These industries move so fast that you are able to become a professional and even a leader in a very short timeframe, in comparison to traditional industries where you would have to work for the better part of your career to become an industry leader," says Lawrence. "Creating and reaching new Internet users are at the top of many global companies' minds, which is why they are turning their attention to Africa, where penetration is low. Once new people are connected, new opportunities arise, and more programmers are required, creating jobs and business opportunities."

"With the provision of the right skills, Africa can compete with the latest IT developments in the rest of the world, and indeed become a global leader. For example, with the benefit of hindsight we can look at the lessons learnt from the implementation of IPv6 across the world and get ahead of the curve with implementations in Africa."

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