Archive for November, 2009

Hello World!

The first round of the Zanzicode project draws to a close and we learned a lot. It’s fair to say that not everything was working perfectly all of the time, but then again, what is? ;-)

Most importantly, we have been able to confirm that the idea behind our project – to provide free education in Web Development to small number of selected students – is valid. There is both talent and demand for professional web work in Zanzibar, and we’re happy to help build personal careers and to further add to the local webdev scene by prolonging the project for another year in 2010.

The story so far: when Martin Konzett of ICT4D.at has been introduced to the Zanzibits School for Film and Multimedia during a visit to Zanzibar, he decided to support the project by organising an advanced class in the field of Web Development for Zanzibits graduates and otherwise fitting students. In July 2009, Dan Hamm came to Zanzibar as the first of three teachers and held seven weeks of introductory lectures. We’re very thankful to the Zanzibits team, who provided us with a room and hardware during the time – asante sana, rafikis!

We had a short drawback when Stefan Asseg, our second teacher, was unable to follow Dan’s lead due to an unfortunate sporting accident that happened only a few days before his planned departure. Luckily, as a part time university teacher and full time procrastinating student, I had a bit of free time during the summer to step in, giving “remote support” from Austria via Skype. This way, we have been able to keep the classes going before I came down to Zanzibar myself at the end of September as the third and final teacher.

It’s now two weeks before the end of the regular classes, and I think the project was a success so far. Sure, we had to downshift the speed of teaching a good bit (pole pole!) due to various reasons and hence did not accomplish to cover the whole of the planned curriculum – however, we succeeded to give most of our students a very good understanding of the basics of web development and I’m sure everybody is now able to keep on learning by himself. Also, we are thinking about ways to further support our graduates, so stay tuned for that.

Regarding ourselves, we also learned a lot and identified a number of issues that we will take proper care of during our preparations for Zanzicode 2010 – but hey, that’s another post :-)

best, Fritz Grabo


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?