Updates on the Basic Course

The Zanzicode Basic Course, where students learn how to program for the web, is getting underway at the Zanzicode class in Stonetown, Zanzibar. It begun in November 2010 and will last for at least six months.

The course started at a very basic level with lessons about HTML, followed by lessons about CSS to help those students who did not have any knowledge of building websites before. This helped all students of the class to be at a suitable level for learning web programming. On February 24, all students were already capable of creating professional static web pages.

Next, the web programming lessons – the main topic of the Zanzicode course – begun. The first scripting language to be taught was JavaScript. This language was a little bit complicated for the students probably because it was their first programming language, but the more they understand, the more they become enthusiastic about it.

On March 23, students were aware about variable program flow and such. Following that, they have turned to the PHP language have been showing good progress. However, according to the lecturer they still need to show even more effort if they want to be successful programmers.

The students seems to be very serious about their lessons due to the fact that some of them spend their extra time working with computers in the class room even after the lesson hours, and they ask different questions to each other and to the lecturer. Some of them ask questions about more advanced technologies like Ajax at their extra time. This indicates that they take their time to learn and that they like what they do.

The students now have shown improved discipline as they clean the classroom in every morning and when they leave the classroom they put laptops at a suitable place in a proper way.

General attendance has been very good in the past couple of months despite the fact that some individual students have shown poor attendance which resulted into the dropping out of one of them who was absent in the class for many days without any specific reason. On the other hand, the rain season, which has just begun, to some extent increases the number of absent students in the classroom. The most poor students attendance day was Wednesday, April 13, where only five students were in the class room. This is because of heavy rainfall in that morning.

To sum up, the Zanzicode Basic Course is running smoothly and we don’t have any serious problems. Nearly everything has been under control and we expect to see more development in terms of program understanding, in terms of discipline and in terms of students attendance.

Stay tuned for more news!

Fereji N. Fereji.

Introducing our new assistant

This is a post by Fereji N. Fereji, who will be following Hakim as an assistant to Zanzicode’s lecturer Salum in Zanzibar:

As an assistant to Zanzicode school, I will make sure that there is no gap of communication between the Zanzicode school in Zanzibar and the Zanzicode staff in Europe. I will take the responsibility of e-mail exchanging and chatting with everybody involved in the project. The staffs will get feedback of our everyday activities at the right time. On the other hand, we will be able to get advice at any time on how to handle the works in Zanzicode.

Let me introducre myself: I was born in Zanzibar, on 18th of September in 1976 in a poor family. I had been looked after by a woman with whom we didn’t have blood relation. She was unique as she took me as her real child. I finished my primary education in 1993 in Forodhani primary school. In 1996, I finished my ordinary secondary education in Hamamni secondary school. In 2000, I finished advanced secondary education at Lumumba secondary school.

In 2010, I applied for the Zanzicode school of web development where I learned web programming. I was lucky to learn at Zanzicode because I could get the knowledge which I could not afford. Now am proud that I can develop a professional website.

Zanzicode is a unique web programming school in Zanzibar that tries to uplift the web knowledge and web awareness of Zanzibar youths to current standards – something which has enabled me to work very independently in a modern way. A school such as Zanzicode is important because it is specifically dealing with IT and web development, and it covers all that has to be learned.

I have discovered that if the Zanzicode project sustains for years to come, the knowledge of web programming will be common to the Zanzibar youths, and as a result, their living standard will become higher.

Fereji N. Fereji.

Introducing our new students

zanzicode_3rdturn_abdulrasakMy name is Abdulrazak Abubakar Tausir, I am 21 years old. Being a student of Zanzicode it is so nice for me because I am interested in what Zanzicode is teaching and the reason of learning at Zanzicode is because one of my dreams is to become a No. 1 web developer in Zanzibar, Tanzania and the whole world. In my future I would like to be a Computer Engineer and also I would like to be a teacher of subjects which deal with website and also help Zanzibarian youth.

zanzicode_3rdturn_abdulrahmanMy name is Abdulrahman Majid, I am 24 years old, I am studying web-programing at Zanzicode. I have decided to join Zanzicode because I am interested in programing, ambitiously I want to be a professional web developer.


zanzicode_3rdturn_ashaMy name is Asha Kh. Salum, I am 24 years old. I’m student of Zanzicode, so my ambition is that I would like to be a programmer and web developer and also design. Apart from that, I would like to study widely about programming and other things, because I want to be up to date in this world of technology.

zanzicode_3rdturn_hafidhMy name is Hafidh Haji Hafidh, I am 20 years old. I think that Zanzicode helps to achieve my dream of being a good developer and programmer. I am looking forward to sit together with my fellow students and work hard to achieve the goals.


zanzicode_3rdturn_hassanMy name is Hassan Bakari Juma, I am 20 years old. I got to know Zanzicode from my friend and then I thought that it can help me to increase my skills and knowledge of web programming. I’m expecting to learn a lot about web programing including to design the website which follows the rules of well formed HTML that supports all browsers.

zanzicode_3rdturn_issaMy name is Issa Ramadhani Issa. I am 22 year old. My hope is to be good in programmer especially when I will finish this course, my aim is to be web developer. I hope Zanzicode will change my life because to learn programming languages nowadays is good and this is the technology which is dramatically growing and is having a wide market. I learnt about web design, then I wanted to develop. It was difficult some time, but now to study at Zanzicode is a solution for all problems which I have got.

zanzicode_3rdturn_josephMy name is Joseph R. Waryoba, I am 26 years old. My expectation is to be an expert in programing based on website development and being a independent online business man, as well as online article publisher. I do appreciate what Zanzicode offer to me and think it fits well to my needs.

zanzicode_3rdturn_mbarakMy name is Mbarak Ali Mbarak, I am 25 years old. What I believe, after graduating at zanzicode, I will be able to work with web programming in the side of html, javascript, css, mysql,  php etc, and become a professional web programmer and developer from Zanzibar. The truth is the course is not easy as the way you pronounce it, but if you are willing to learn you have to pull up the socks and practice a lot. If you really want to be a programmer Zanzicode is a tanzanite chance to fulfill your dream.

zanzicode_3rdturn_mohamedMy name is Moh’d Juma Rashid, I am 22 years old. I have been interested in this course for a long time. So what I hope is that I get knowledge of PHP and Javascript so as to archive my goal of being a good teacher and a good web designer together with developing web pages.

zanzicode_3rdturn_ramadanMy name is Ramadhan Shein Makame, I am 30 years old. I joined Zanzicode in order to be a good  web developer and programmer that can help to raise my income and job oppoturnity. I think Zanzicode is a friendly and helpful school that supports Zanzibar youths, hopefully this year will be the year to archieve important goals.

zanzicode_3rdturn_rukiaMy name is Rukia Moh´d Yusuf, I am 21 years old. Zanzicode is a crucial project that can help any one in his or her life. It has professional lectures that give us better and quality education. I hope to be better in this field of web development because it is growing very rapidly.

zanzicode_3rdturn_aboudMy name is Aboud Nassor Khamis, I am 21 years old. To be honest I’m eagerly interested in the growing web technology that bring the world together as a village. To get this knowledge I have joined the Zanzicode course. I hope to be able to learn this technology that moves the world to another stage.

Interviews for the final class

This is a post by Hakim:

Strict and careful interviews have been done. The interviews aimed to get a solid group of 12 students who are motivated and well interested people about web programming, but also to select the students who already have an idea on how to use computers, as these kind of people fit better to develop their basic computer career. The interviews started with the first two groups that Salum started with at the beginning of November, and then followed by the recent Zanzibits graduates. All of them are showing a great curiosity and are eager to join the Zanzicode web programming.

So we are very happy that 28 students took the interview, however we had to select 12 of them to form the final class. (This group of students will introduce themselves in the next blog post.)

As soon as the desired group was obtained the official lesson was kicked off, which is going on for 2 weeks now. Class is held daily from Monday to Friday from 9am until 12am. The presence of the students is monitored very strictly. The group is very well motivated and showing good impression with the subjects.

Another good news is that now, Zanzicode has got some more Acer laptops. It took almost 3 weeks to purchase them. We now got 4 new Acer Aspire 5336 15”, re-installed with Ubuntu operating system family that work fine especially for programming. All of them have 2GB RAM memory. Additionally we got a 15” Acer Extensa and a 12” Toshiba Satellite. So in total Zanzicode now has 10 laptops. With 2 students that bring their own laptop, we are lucky that every students now can work on his/her on own machine.

All the best,


Making Progress and arrival of Martin

This is a post by Hakim:

The Zanzicode Basic Course which started last month is moving on very smoothly. The two groups are working hard as the lecturer (Mr. Salum Rashid) is teaching more and more. Two days ago, Mr. Martin Konzett arrived in Zanzibar for holding the Incubator Course starting in January and to support Salum and me in organizing the project. Mr. Konzett is a motivation for the Basic Course students as the they are about to be interviewed for cleverness and seriousness next week to form the final class of this course. In addition to the 18 students we have now, we also offer the right now graduating Zanzibits students the opportunity to take the interview. The final size of the class is not yet decided, it will be between 8 and 12 students. The situation in the classroom makes an impression of good future while a big part of the students show curiosity and eagerness.

All the best,

Salum and Martin plus the class

The 2nd class of 2010 has started!

This is a post by Hakim, the newest addition to our team in Zanzibar:

Cheers good going! The Zanzicode is happy to deliver the news that second course has started in the beginning of November with new people of total of 18 students. Until this time every thing seem to run very smoothely, great! This year is fantastic, more people are interested and and showing hard work. The bigger group has been divided into two sessions, the early morning session and later session, each group comprises 9 students.

HTML and some introductions to computer has been underway as the first hand lesson to kickstart with.

My brother has allowed me to take with me his laptop for practices“, says Safiya, one of the current students. This manifests good picture of the current course. Salum, who is the lecturer, will teach from HTML and CSS, and later will jump to PHP and MySQL.

all the best,

ps: this is a picture of one of the two new groups (more pictures on Flickr):

Donation by the Leo Club St. Pölten

Leo Club St. Pölten Thanks to the generous donation of € 3590,- by the Leo Club St.Pölten, the next 6-month iteration of the Zanzicode basic course is secured. The Leo Club St. Pölten is a non-profit organisation which supports social projects, usually with a regional focus in Lower Austria, Austria; with Zanzicode, they are assisting a project in a foreign country for the first time. With the help of the donation, we have the means to continue our work in Zanzibar and to steadily move our project forward. Thanks a lot, Leo Club — your help is most appreciated!

Here’s a picture of the ICT4D.at chairman Florian Sturm receiving the donation in the form of the classic oversized cheque from Leo Club St. Pölten chairwoman Maria Propst in Vienna, Austria (two more pictures on Flickr):

ICT4D.at chairman Florian Sturm receives the donation cheque from Leo Club St. Pölten chairwoman Maria Propst

Zanzicode Incubator Course to be started beginning of 2011

ICT4D.at is happy to announce that we are about to start a second course within our Zanzicode project. The Incubator Course – a joint venture of ICT4D.at with Chembe Ventures – will run in parallel to our initial initiative, which we will refer to as Basic Course from now on.

The aim of the program is to provide talented young would-be entrepreneurs with the tools they need to launch and maintain their own web ventures.

Here is the Incubator Course description as stated on the Zanzicode website:

The 12 month Incubator Course measures up to the entrepreneurial spirit of graduates of the Basic Course. Strong programming skills and the goal to set up an own real world online business are prerequisites for this course. Students are guided through the process of realizing a business, from the idea to the running software and the working micro enterprise. We also stick to Open Source Software, but we optionally switch to Java and Google technologies as industrial standards. After the course the students will be owners of their own business. The course hosts 4 students.

Having conversations with our graduates and students, we got excellent feedback about their progress within the web development community in Zanzibar. The most rewarding statements for us are that graduates are working in the software industry and are keen to move on with their skills. They are searching for ways to educate themselves further. So the idea of an advanced course came up. We proposed approaches and got the commitment from possible future students.

After the experiences we gained so far, we agreed that the students should work on one big ongoing project during the course. The discussion with Sean Murphy (We got to know him at Africa Gathering April 2009 in London) led to the resolution that the best idea would be that students should not only develop plain software solutions, but also business models around the software and then eventually – at the end of the course – become business owners and run their venture. Sean offered to substantially fund this course through the company he is running, Chembe Ventures, which is specialized in seed funding and organizing tech events for African IT startups.

So after successfully acquiring complementary funding, the budget is set and the agreement with Chembe Ventures is signed. We are hereby going to the public and are very happy to announce this.

We are open for applications for this course via office (AT) zanzicode.com and are happy to send out detailed informations upon request. Applicants should not hesitate to call Salum Rashid (Zanzicode Lecturer) on his Zantel line: +255 777 755443 to get the details in Swahili.

Zanzicode daily classroom life

A few frame-grabs of the video material May van Gent shot a few month ago. We are almost finished creating our promo spot for Zanzicode!







Applications for the 2nd Zanzicode class of 2010

The application is now going on for Zanzicode next course! The word is spread around the town by our recent graduates and, naturally, the Zanzicode team of Stone town is also actively finding new people who are interested in web development and want to take their chances.

The application forms are available at the Zanzibits and Zanzicode offices at any time and can be handed in until the end of October. We are calling on all motivated Zanzibar youths to apply for an opportunity to study in the field of web development using the latest web technologies.

Please note that the national examinations of Tanzania will begin on 4th of October, and that they will cause a delay to the start of the course as our classroom is located within the Al-riyami school building, which will be unavailable for us to use until the end of the examinations.

Zanzicode Logo

Welcome to Zanzicode

Zanzicode is a project lead by the Austria based NGO ICT4D.at. We provide free education in the field of Web Development to a small number of talented and motivated students of poor background in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Our goal is to help build the personal careers of our graduates as well as to kickstart a local web development community.

Want to know more?