Casablanca’s 3W Academy of coding and web development hopes to transform the lives of Morocco’s unemployed youth.
Rabat – In October 2018, a new coding school opened its doors in Casablanca having since reached over 1,000 students.
3W Academy Maroc is one of several initiatives to combat Morocco’s 24 percent youth unemployment rate. It was founded by Hamza Debbarh, a board member of Education for Employment, a nonprofit organization that trains Moroccan youths and connects them to regional jobs.
“We really believe that coding is a solution for our youth. It is a skill that is going to open doors,” Debbarh said. “If you have skills in coding or web development, you can easily find work in the Moroccan job market. Or you can get freelance jobs in any job market.”
3W Academy was founded in France in 2012. The group also has a branch in Tunisia, and trains more than 1,000 web developers each year.
Although many students enter the school with varying degrees of self-training, the school also attracts students who have no prior experience with or attraction to coding or the tech sector. With free coding workshops, 3W Academy hopes to capture the attention of those otherwise uninterested in the field.
3W Academy offers a three-month web development program, which has a fee with flexible payment options. The school promises prospective students that they will become web developers in four months regardless of their background. Students are also promised employment upon completion of an internship, thanks to a strong network of recruiters and pre-hiring training.
One of 3W Academy’s goals is to improve the representation of women in tech, and women make up almost 50 percent of participants in the free coding classes. The three-month program is composed primarily of men, something Debbarh hopes to reform in the future.
3W Academy is looking to establish more campuses in Morocco, ideally in city centers. Debbarh and his team are also planning to make the program accessible to students throughout the Middle East and North Africa by 2020 by launching an online platform. This initiative will also reach the rest of Africa.
Several low-cost or free coding schools have been established throughout Morocco in recent years. The latest is the second branch of 1337 School, which opened in Ben Geurir near Marrakech, joining the ranks of 3W Academy and YouCode in Yousoufia.
“Morocco has joined the freelance revolution,” believes Forbes contributor Jon Younger. “Greater youth technical competence and participation in the tech sector . . . is part of a comprehensive solution to the country’s economic and social problems.”
Professional training in high-demand skills is becoming increasingly accessible to Moroccan youths, of which one in three are university-educated and unemployed. As Morocco’s tech sector rapidly develops, future employment prospects for coding school students are promising.