“Africa is missing in the digital space. Though numerous efforts have been made to bridge the gap between us and the rest of the world, these efforts have largely not had the necessary impact because most of them have focused on supplying hardware without complimenting it with necessary software development skills” says Simon Ampah the Co-Founder of Simon Mustard.
Simon and his Co-Founder Eric Ampah started the Simon Mustard also known as Gates Code Club. An Education related social enterprise that was founded to introduce kids between the ages of 5-16 years to coding/programming, computer science, robotics and other tech related stuff whiles touching on subjects like leadership, team work, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.
Since its inception in December 2015, over 200 kids in Tema and Cape Coast (Ghana) have been taught how to code as well as emerging technologies such as drone technology and Virtual Reality (both of which are regarded as technologies that will wield huge impacts in the coming decades). This has been done through Vacation Tech Boot Camps. In addition to the Camps, they have been partnering with schools to organize “In-school” computer science classes. This is an extra curricula activity for students to have fun whilst they engage themselves in an exciting learning experience in coding.
Before Simon Mustard, “I have tried my hands on several businesses but my first major business was selling inspirational books after my first degree. Though the return on the books business was good, I wanted to be involved in something impactful and transformative. It was during this time that my co-founder kept on pestering me with the idea of introducing / teaching kids how to code which is regarded as 21st century skill. I did my research and came to realize it is a revolution sweeping across the globe. Armed with this information we started Simon Mustard”.
Simon is hopeful that 10 years from now, Simon Mustard would have trained 10,000 more children not only in Ghana but in the neighbouring countries as well.
However Simon Mustard’s greatest challenge is funding. For a child to get enrolled, he/she must have a laptop which is not readily available for many of the children in our part of the world. This somewhat prevents many of them from getting enrolled. With enough funding, they hope to reach even more children in a short time.
Simon suggests that in order for African Governments to bridge the technology gap between Africa and the rest of the world, our computer labs have to be provided with necessary computing resources to make it possible for our students to learn ICT. Our curriculum also needs to be updated to reflect the current changes sweeping across the globe.
Simon is one of the 60 finalists selected to be part of the Coca Cola Young Ghanaian Achievers Awards (March 2017). This was in commemoration of the 60th Independence Anniversary of Ghana. He said “I was over joyous. The Awards goes to make the statement that we are on the right track and we are doing something impactful and very meaningful”
From the Rising Africa Team we say: keep soaring because “Africa Is Proud of You”