The South African telecommunications company is investing $4.4 million in WeThinkCode_ to expand its free coding and software programming instruction.
The startup trains students between the ages of 17 and 35 to fill the country’s gap in software engineering skills by improving the employability of South African youth. WeThinkCode_, which wants to double the number of software engineers in the country by 2018, will expand its Johannesburg campus and open a campus in Cape Town.
Telkom’s subsidiary, BCX, will disburse the funding over the next three years and enroll 40 of WeThinkCode_’s students as interns each year.
South Africa’s official unemployment rate is above 25 percent (unofficial estimates peg unemployment at nearly 40 percent).