Decoding the path to becoming technology creators

Nolu Gqadu

Learners getting to grips with coding lessons.
CodeNgwana founder, Nolu Gqadu.


CodeNgwana, literally translated as code child, is an organisation that offers coding and computational skills to children between the ages of 3 to 12 years.

CodeNgwana was founded in 2019 and formally registered as a non-profit organisation in 2022.

CodeNgwana has a presence in South Africa and in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its unique value proposition is its focus on the African child, which distinguishes it from other coding initiatives, and offers a lasting solution to building coding skills in Africa’s future generation.

CodeNgwana is driving a digital culture in kids through various programmes such as after school programmes, coding camps, holiday programmes and private coding lessons. The non-profit helps children solve everyday problems and get set up for a lifetime of opportunities by teaching them coding.

CodeNgwana teaches children how to remodel the technological world around them and help them become creators rather than just consumers of technology.

CodeNgwana’s mission is to equip children with the requisite problem-solving and coding skills to create a future digital workforce that is able to solve African problems using technology, and contribute to technology, rather than simply consume it.

Codengwana offers the following services:

Coding Lessons – A Science Technology Engineering Maths (STEM) embedded coding curriculum that helps students to integrate their learning through technology. By doing this children’s digital and problem-solving skills are being developed.

Tailored Technology Literature – CodeNgwana differentiates itself from other coding initiatives through its tailored curriculum and technology literature for kids, which serves as a standalone framework for teaching coding. CodeNgwana is bridging the digital divide by providing technology related textbooks and stories to children in under-resourced communities with no access to technology.

Teacher Development – CodeNgwana expands the reach of the initiative through knowledge transfer. The teacher development process ensures that teachers are equipped with the requisite skills to teach coding and empowered with technology tools that can help enhance their teaching experience.

CodeNgwana’s impact is aligned with several Sustainable Development Goals listed below:

Goal 4: Quality Education – CodeNgwana ensures that learners have equal access to quality education and contribute to the supply of qualified teachers in developing countries.

Goal 8: Decent work and Economic Growth – CodeNgwana uses recent graduates and unemployed youth in the communities and therefore promote youth employment, education and training.

CodeNgwana’s model has far reaching impact beyond the children being taught. Education can drastically change the course of a child’s life. CodeNgwana is supporting a future-ready Africa. By providing opportunities for university students to become tutors, it not only cements their coding knowledge but also equips them with crucial work readiness skills – currently some of the biggest employability barriers. CodeNgwana strengthens the coding community and make unique knowledge contributions by developing coding material that is relevant to the African child. Moreover, CodeNgwana has developed a framework of coding for the African child that it has taken to the Democratic Republic of Congo and potentially to other countries across Africa.

CodeNgwana has been named Best Technology Inclusion and Equality Initiative 2022 – South Africa by Corporate Vision. What sets it apart from other coding providers is that it also contributes to the body of knowledge when it comes to kids and coding or technology.

To date, CodeNgwana has published four stories of technology for children, including a coding encyclopedia for kids which has been translated into a few African languages. By this it is bridging the digital divide by making literature available to communities where taking a computer or coding course might be challenging due to infrastructural challenges.

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