One Year of Code

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One Year of Code: Employable Technology Skills for Schools in Nigeria

Lagos, NigeriaLagos, Nigeria
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

"One Year of Code" is a mobile computer lab that serves secondary schools in low-income communities in Lagos. The students acquire employable skills in computer coding and web technologies to help them earn income and succeed in a world that's becoming more dependent on technology everyday.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if a mobile computer lab provides access to employable computer coding skills for young people in low-income schools and communities?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

More than 80% of secondary school leavers in Nigeria do not have employable skills. Over 85% of schools do not have the capacity to teach employable skills. Nearly 50% of young people in Nigeria would like to learn computer coding but do not have access to quality and affordable coding skills training. The demand for digital skills is increasing by 20% yearly. How can we help young people acquire employable skills and earn an income today?

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

"One Year of Code" mobile computer lab consists of 1 vehicle, 25 laptops, and 1 Instructor. One lab serves 5 secondary schools and training 200 students per year. The students acquire employable skills in computer coding and web technologies to help them earn income and succeed in a world that's becoming more dependent on technology everyday.


Cheetah Fund and One Percent Club
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

John's school, Normana College signs up to participate in "One Year of Code" program. John is among the 40 students who enrolled for the one-year training at a total cost of $1,900 with each student contributing $47 for the year. It would have cost the school $7,000/year to retain a teacher with coding skills and up to $15,000 to acquire the modern computers. The power and maintenance cost of a modern computer lab would also have been up to $1,000 per year. Such skills training at ICT centers usually cost up to $500 per year.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We are currently serving 1 school with 40 students currently enrolled. Following our model, one mobile computer lab will serve 5 schools with 200 students enrolled. After 3 months of training, all our current students can develop an android app, and a website. 15 of them have made an income from their skills.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Partnerships with schools enables our program to reach more young people. We serve 40 young people in 1 school. One mobile computer lab is able to serve 5 schools reaching 200 students. We are also engaging senators to sponsor free employable skills training for the young people in their constituencies. We will be serving 2,000 students with 10 mobile computer labs working with 50 schools by December 2017.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

It costs $5,400 to run a mobile lab for a year. With each student paying $47 per year and one mobile lab serving 200 students, one mobile lab is able to generate $9,400 per year. This represents a profit of $4,000 each year. It costs $15,000 to set up a mobile lab. Crowdfunding $5,000 for the computers and then purchasing the bus with a $10,000 bank loan, we are able to liquidate the loan and own the assets for each mobile lab in 3 years.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The ICT training centers available in low-income communities teach only basic computer skills at a higher cost. The online courses on and are as high as $199 and the internet access needed to access these courses are not readily available. The schools in low-income communities usually have computer labs but the labs are either non-functional or the skills acquired are basic computer skills.

Founding Story

Each time I chat about the quality of ICT training in secondary schools in Nigeria, the story is the same; non-functional labs! When the Federal government mandated schools to offer computer skills or agricultural skills as employable skills for secondary school students, many of the schools choose computer science over agriculture because of the cost of equipment and land needed to run farms. But the computer labs available in these schools can't teach employable computer skills. I started computer coding skills for secondary school leavers at InnerPages. After the first year, I started thinking of a cost-effective way to take these training to the schools at a low cost to the students.


Clifford Okwesi has over 10 years experience in software development and computer coding skills training. He is an accomplished social entrepreneur, a community service champion and a social venture management expert. He is the founder and team lead for this project. Adaobi Udeze is an accomplished lawyer with over 6 years experience in business development. She is lead project manager for "One Year of Code". Diana Cocoru is a Senior Policy Analyst at OpenForum Europe. She has several years experience working for Kabissa Africa, promoting technology in Africa and supporting non-profits in Africa. Diana Cocoru heads the advisory board of One Year of Code.