Training the right people in the technology sector can have huge benefits for any country – even if it isn’t immediately visible.

A great example of this is Nigeria’s ICT sector. In 2001 it only contributed 0.5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but by developing people to have the right skills through training and education, it managed to increase its contribution to 6% in 2012.

Rwanda’s government has over the last couple of years also invested a lot into its ICT sector – to the point where 45% all foreign direct investment was made available specifically for that purpose.

In South Africa, it can be a similar tale if WeThinkCode’s plans pan out. The new peer-to-peer tech institution’s aim is to eliminate the IT skills gap, and it has just signed a three-year founding sponsorship with First National Bank (FNB), BBD and Derivco.

WeThinkCode’s sole purpose is to scout for brilliant young minds who can receive training to become programmers at its first campus in Johannesburg early next year. But best of all, the students who are selected to study at WeThinkCode will do so for free, as it partners with other companies to subsidise the two-year course.

“We are extremely excited to welcome FNB, BBD and Derivco as our Founding Sponsors. The breadth of support we are receiving is a testament to the need for a new education model to source and train highly skilled software engineers in South Africa. There are 3.4 million unemployed youth in South Africa, and we believe that within this pool, there is immense talent and aptitude to become world-class developers,” WeThinkCode said in a statement.

In terms of FNB, BBD and Derivco’s involvement, each will provide financial support for the launch of the programme and will play a role in ensuring the curriculum stays relevant to the industry. The students will also be given the opportunity to apply for internships for the duration of the two-year course.

“Created by four passionate young entrepreneurs, WeThinkCode is designed to respond to the desperate IT skills shortage and lack of education opportunities in South Africa,” it explained.

If you think you have what it takes to be a world-class coder, or know someone that fits the bill, applications open on 1 October. To apply, simply sign up at www.borntocode.co.za

[Image – CC by 2.0/hackNY.org]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.