Sandile Hlangani is a South African commentator on Technology issues, a Social Entrepreneur and a Technology journalist who produces a show called Network on SABC. He has been involved in initiatives to teach coding for Rural Development here in the Eastern Cape, ECN caught up with him to find out what his mission is all about.
Tell us about the initiative you are involved in?
SH: In July 2018 we launched this initiative to teach young people to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators and self-directed millenniums. The vision responds to the demands for citizens who are globally aware and financially literate and fluent in information, media and technology skills.
ECN: Why do you think it’s important for the youth to learn about coding especially here in the province?
SH: You will know that many of the schools in the Eastern Cape are at the disadvantage due to lack of technology which is a key component of todays’s increasingly digital society, where almost 25 million South Africans have access to internet. The truth is that today’s youth are technologically switched on, and unlike many of their parents they are born in a world dominated by information and technology like the World Wide Web, computers, smart phones, iPods, facebook, You Tube etc
ECN: So how did the initiative equip young people?
SH: The main aim was to shine the spotlight on young rural girls who needed to be supported in becoming technologically competitive to gain proper understanding on how to use tenchnology safely and effectively. With Africa’s growing youth population and increasing competition for jobs addressing these issues was imperative.
ECN: How was this initiative conducted and was it accessible to many young people?
SH: The launch was in Queesnstown, children were not charged for coding courses, that is why we were calling for different stakeholders to be involved so that we can reach as many young people as possible and make that a success.