Codecademy, an online learning platform that teaches technical skills, has partnered with The Black and Brilliant Advocacy Network to launch an Applied Artificial Intelligence accelerator and mentorship program in Africa. After their 2021 launch of the first accelerator, the organizations have teamed up again to bring this program to fruition. Africa and empower a new generation of tech talent in the region.
The combination of mentorship and upskilling makes it possible to create the Codecademy and Black and Brilliant the program will cover both the soft and hard skills required to make a career in AI. Over the course of 10 weeks, participants will master the fundamentals of data science, data engineering and programming using Codecademy’s self-guided, hands-on learning platform. A group of mentors and coaches from companies such as Etsy, Google, and Shopify will assist participants in exploring topics like user experience and ethics, bias, and the business side of AI.
Global artificial intelligence market was $62.35 billion in 2020. It is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 40.2% between 2021 and 2028.
“As AI becomes more powerful, it’s imperative that people of all backgrounds, nationalities, races, and genders have the opportunity to leverage that power – so that they can make an impact on their communities and the world at large,” said Zach SimsCodecademy CEO and co-founder. “Through education and mentorship, our goal is to empower a new generation of global leaders in AI, equipping them with the skills they need to solve problems and incite change through technology.”
Founded by husband-and-wife-team Tony Effik and Perky Noah-Effik, Black and Brilliant is an advocacy group focused on initiatives to diversify workforces and streamline talent pipelines for BIPOC communities. After meeting Codecademy’s CEO Zach Sims at an event with the United Nations last year, the two founders immediately saw an opportunity to work together given their organizations’ shared mission to democratize career opportunities in technology.
“Growing up in the UK and Nigeria, and even now, I continue to meet brilliant Africans with the potential to play a role in the global digital economy,” said Tony Effik, Co-Founder of Black and Brilliant and Managing Director at Google. “We decided with Codecademy to coalesce around the idea of helping a foundational group leapfrog to the most current technology. This group should help the next cohort. We are grateful for Codecademy and how its platform democratizes learning and makes this all possible.”
As artificial intelligence develops into a more powerful, influential technology, it could be a transformative force. Africa — helping to reduce inequality, alleviate poverty and improve access to public services like health and education. However, limited access to AI education is a major barrier to the realization of AI’s full impact in African societies. Codecademy and Black and Brilliant’s accelerator program aims to equip local technologists with the skills they need to lead careers in AI and continue driving innovation in the region.
The Codecademy and Black & Brilliant Applied Artificial Intelligence programs opened for applications on the 1st of each month. March 2022. Please visit this page for more information and to apply. here.