The Datacamp Donates Initiative for Data Science Zimbabwe


Leonard Mutambanengwe


May 1, 2023

Beginning on 1 July 2022, Data Science Zimbabwe became one of the many Datacamp Donates partners, giving to our data science community, 40+ licenses to access the more than 300 courses on the Datacamp platform.

Our community embraced the opportunity and we saw a very spirited response to the call for applications, gettng close to 100.

Unfortunately we could not award every applicant with a license and we selected the first recipients for the initiative.

The first month saw quite good numbers as the awardees got to work.

However the progress of the first month soon started to slow down, and there was a decline in the subsequent months until November when the numbers started to peak again. The participation has been much better, as we also introduced incentives to reward those who gain the most XP in a month (which has become our most contested incentive).

We hope to close off the first year strong, and showcase great outcomes for those who have participated over the year.

Selection To maximise the probability of participation, we awarded applicants who were mostly beginners, who would take the initiative the most serious in order to start their journey. Also we tried to prioritise female applicants, to help address the unbalanced gender representation in tech in our country. We then also focused on who might be able to dedicate the most time to the initiative.

With time, we had to revoke a few of the licenses and re-award them, and we are proud to say that most of those who were awarded where able to start.

Experiences Zimbabwe has issues with energy and data and the biggest issues we had, as reported by our participants, reflected this reality. Also, because a number of our grantees are students, the participation tends to reflect the times when schools are in term and out of term. The job market in the country is also not in the very best of form, and data jobs have been scarce, but many of our members have been able to use the knowledge gained in various areas including their school work and personal projects.

The Future If we are readmitted into the program, we are going to: * find more incentives to increase participation * encourage members to undertake competitions, and assignments more after working on the learning courses * utilise our networks to provide members with access to places where power and data are more reliable.