WeThinkCode gets $4.5m from BCX for SA expansion

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South African incubator WeThinkCode has secured ZAR60 million (US$4,490,000) in financial support from ICT solutions provider BCX, to expand its Johannesburg-based operations and launch in Cape Town.

Disrupt Africa reported the launch of WeThinkCode was announced in 2015 with applications opening to the inaugural two-year tuition fee-free software developer training programme.  

The first cohort of 120 students was selected by mid-2016, and WeThinkCode opened the doors to its dedicated Johannesburg-based campus.

BCX has now committed ZAR60 million (US$4,490,000) over three years to allow for the expansion of the Johannesburg campus – to house a further 200 students -, cover tuition fees for students, and enable the launch of a Cape Town-based programme.

“At BCX, we’re committed to preparing African businesses to compete in the new digital economy. We advise our customers that if they don’t invest in digitalisation, they should be prepared to be left behind,” said Ian Russell, chief executive officer (CEO) of BCX.

“We’re practicing what we preach with this agreement with WeThinkCode. We’re gaining first access to the next generation of digital talent in South Africa – the folks that will be behind the next big thing.”

WeThinkCode seeks to eliminate the tech skills shortage in Africa by training 100,000 coders on the continent over the next 10 years.  The incubator hopes to contribute to tackling youth unemployment by boosting the number of people trained in tech skills.

The programme is open to anyone aged 17 to 35, requires no previous education, and is completely tuition fee-free.

Students on the programme will also participate in internships at BCX and other Telkom Group partners, to enable them to gain real workplace experience.

“We are thrilled to work with BCX as our growth sponsor to expand and enhance our programme throughout South Africa,” said Arlene Mulder, managing director and co-founder of WeThinkCode.

“The careers of the future in this country depend on technology skills and it is extremely important that businesses like BCX, a leader in digitalisation, work with us to allow our students every opportunity to develop their talents to create world-changing solutions for the digital era.”

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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