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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!

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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.

Welcome Hakimu to the team!

During the last few weeks, we have been searching for a local person in Zanzibar to grow our team, and to support Salum, our local teacher. Among other things, this means writing posts for the blog on a regular basis, managing the daily business of the school, handling financial and organisational stuff, and much more. The basic idea was to separate the teaching from the organisational work, so Salum can fully concentrate on his job as a lecturer, while the other person in the team will care about everything else.

Out of the many people we personally know in Zanzibar, we decided to invite Hakimu, who is one of the students of the first class of 2010 and also a former student of the Zanzibits school of film and multimedia, to become the newest member of the Zanzicode team. During our stays in Zanzibar in 2008 and 2009, we got to know Hakimu as a sharp-minded, diligent and responsible person and we firmly believe that he is the right man for the job. Fortunately, Hakimu agreed to work together with us, so now we’re happy to welcome him as the newest member of the ever-growing Zanzicode team!

Now over to you, Hakimu, for a short introduction of yourself:

“I was born on the 5th of December in 1985 in a poor family looked after by Mr Kombo by whom I was named as Hakimu Kombo. I started schooling in 1993 in the village of Nungwi, just 42km away from Zanzibar town. In 2008, I finished my secondary education and joined the Zanzibits school for film and multimedia in the following year. Then I had a clear and precise decision to apply for the Zanzicode class of web development and I was lucky to learn, good!

I gained a lot of knowledge from Zanzicode school, and I am really happy and proud about it. It’s a great treasure to develop myself and to help support others. I will be very close and make sure the Zanzicode school is progressing further equipping the Zanzibar youths with latest IT and web development technologies to its best. It’s my responsibilty to prepare something like a report on how the class is going on and to update the Zanzicode blog to let followers know what is happening.

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’s specifically dealing with IT and web development, and it covers all what has to be learned. What I have experienced especially in Zanzibar is that IT degree holders have less ideas about website development because in the college they don’t go deeper, and they are not prepared to design and develop dynamic websites. I press the idea to the donors and big IT companies to help support the Zanzicode project in Zanzibar – we really need to give a ‘go ahead’ to this initiative!”

Graduates’ voices

After the successful completion of the first Zanzicode class of IT and web development of 2010 on last Sunday, we’d like to give all of the graduates the opportunity to present themselves and tell us a word or two about their experiences during those past months; here we go:

Najim: Hello! My name is Najim Omar Khamis, I live in Zanzibar and I was born in 13th of August in 1985. I was a Zanzicode student, I am now doing my personal web projects. Zanzicode is the school I have been for those months, we started with HTML and CSS to PHP. I’m grateful to acquire this knowledge from Zanzicode. Many thanks to sponsors and partner organisation of Zanzicode. From now on I’m organizing my own projects so that I gain a vast experience.

Saleh: My name is Saleh H. Rashid, I was born in 14th October 1988, I’m happy that I have finished the course successfully. I now know how to design websites. Before Zanzicode, I thought website was like a giant lion that kill people, but now I’m proud that I’m a website experts. For now I’m designing a website for the ministry of sports in Zanzibar, a lot of thanks to zanzicode founders.

Abeid: Hi, my name is Abeid Machano Khamis, I was born on 25th May in 1985. I can’t believe that now I know something special like this, Salum always used to tell me ‘write your own codes, don’t only wait for what I giving you’. I tried and work hard because I was motivated and today I’m here, I have designed different website such as www.forodhanitours.com etc. Thanks, long live Zanzicode.

Fereji: My name is Fereji Nasir Fereji, I was born in 16th september in 1979. In the beginning of zanzicode I was nearly to give up, the reason is that I understood little of the code structures and thinking this is the wastage of time. My fellow urged me not to quit, I managed to attend until  I started to create my own web pages from scratch and finish it, this is good, now I can professionally do websites. Thanks to Salum, and thanks to the Zanzicode owners.

Bure: Bure Juma Khamis is my name, I was  born in Zanzibar in 26th December 1986. Zanzicode was very long journey actually, to have said this, the code language was really difficult to me. Salum was coming close to me to instruct and giving me ideas for the problem I had. I express my pleasures  to have this exceptional knowledge of going live online, too many thanks to Zanzicode and ict4d.at at all.

Hakimu: My name is Hakimu, I was born in 5th of December 1985. To me, Zanzicode school was the only school that I thought I would fullfil my dreams, and this has come true for ever, though I had no any idea about coding before my start to Zanzicode, when we started HTML and CSS, I thought things would be a bit simple, but I came to great darkness when we jumped to Javascript, ok! Because I’m interested and eager to learn these complex kind of things I have been doing great projects now and if I gave up I wouldn’t be much proud as I am. My heart generously goes to Zanzicode initiative and will be forever with it. Thanks, long live Zanzicode.

Ashraff: My name is Ashraff Seif Rashid, I was born in 11th January of 1986. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Salum and Zanzicode fathers, this is great project which we necessarily have to maintain and make sure it helps the Zanzibaris, especially those who have inferior study opportunities. I strongly suggest to my graduating fellows to help the other following us. Thanks.

Ghania: First of all, my name is Ghania M. Abdalla, I was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania in 1st of November 1988. I’m very that I have finished the course successfully, even though I have learned in a very difficult condition. Sometime you need to be motivated to reach success, I have nothing to pay to Zanzicode for what they have taught, God is with them and will pay them for their kindness. Thanks so much.

Graduation of the first class of 2010

Congratulations to the students of the first Zanzicode class of 2010 for their successful completion of the web programming course! On September 5th, a small graduation ceremony was held in the Zanzicode classroom to mark the end of this class’ studies. The event was organized by the eight graduates of the course in collaboration with their lecturer Salum and his assistant Hakim.

Salum started the graduation by congratulating the students and by thanking them for their hard work while learning to program during the last months: “This is really not so easy work, you have to congratulate yourselves for the hard work you have done”, he says. Besides that, he expressed his concerns about some of the students intending to work in different fields instead of IT and website creation / programming. Instead, he recommended working with the knowledge they have struggled for and to go on from where they are now.

The ceremony’s guest of honour was Mbarak Ali, who is a trainer of the Zanzibits school for film and multimedia in Zanzibar. He attended the event following an invitation of the students. Mbarak expressed his thoughts about the importance of learning IT and website creation / programming because of the world we are living in and urged the students to use the knowledge they have got to develop themselves. Also, he recommended to the graduates to update the knowledge they have gained during their time at Zanzicode because every day there are new things released in the IT field.

Every student was happy on this memorable day of receiving their certificates from Zanzicode and from the independed certification exams at www.w3schools.com which they all have passed flawlessly. They presented their gratitudes to Salum and to the Zanzicode management on behalf of Salum, but also their sincere regards to the sponsors of the Zanzicode project who enable this project to be progressing every day.

Many of the students did not expect to reach where they are today, for the beginning of the studies surely have been difficult and some of them were nearly to give up. As they have experienced a lot during their time here at the Zanzicode project, they came up with different ideas about how to improve the organisation of the next class and to enable the following students to be even more successfull with their studies right from the start. Here are some of these ideas:

  • There should be more students’ projects. This will bring the students together and help them focus on the their studies. To make this more concrete, it is advisable to do weekly or monthly tests, so the students will know where they are and the teacher will better understand their current level in learning.
  • In order to reduce the time spent for teaching HTML in the beginning of the course, it is advisable to create a list of resources about basic web technologies like HTML and CSS. This way, the students of Zanzibits (the school where some of our students come from) and interested people from outside have a way to inform themselves prior to applying for the Zanzicode class.
  • To find suitable students for the next class, announcements via the local media corporation of Zanzibar might be advisable. This will help spreading the word about the Zanzicode school and allow for a better selection of students for the next class.

The official part of the event ended by the guest of honour handing the certificates over to the students. After that, there was a dinner for the students as a final celebration of the graduation. Because this is the time of Ramadhan, the dinner was prepared at Salum’s home, where the students and the lecturer celebrated together in the evening.

Regards, Hakim

ADA Funding

As already announced on the ICT4D.at blog, after our application in March we received funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation – and of course we are very happy!

ADA

The funding amounts to 5000€ of our 9100€ budget. Therefore the funded period reaches from April 2010 to April 2010. The main items of expenditure are the salary of our teacher Salum, the purchase of new furniture and workstations and the monthly rent and electricity.

The course is already in full flow and our students are doing great. We have had some problems in getting pictures from our students so far, but we’re positive that we’ll be getting up more content soon. Amongst others we are currently working on a promotional video featuring interviews of local people. So make sure to check out our blog frequently.


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?