The Carpentries in Africa

About us

The Carpentries in Africa is a regional subcommunity of The Carpentries, a non-profit organisation where we teach researchers foundational coding and data science skills worldwide. The Carpentries hosts in-person and online Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, and Software Carpentry workshops. With a community of more than 160 certified Instructors, our goal is to create professional growth opportunities, mentor instructors, coordinate workshops and create sustainable Carpentries communities across the African continent.

Our monthly Carpentries in Africa community calls, hosted on the 4th Thursday of each month, have been running since 2017. Here, we discuss topics that interest scholars on the continent, including previous and upcoming workshops, challenges teaching in Africa, available resources, opportunities, and events. Community members can subscribe to a Slack channel and mailing list.

A global community of 4000 certified Instructors subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Carpentries Clippings, Slack channels and mailing lists.

Looking back at 2023

  1. 15 instructors from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya and Botswana have been badged, with others also participating in the checkout process.

  2. 19 Carpentries workshops were hosted in South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya.

  3. Six member organisations from South Africa and Namibia.

  4. Grew our instructor trainer base in South Africa

  5. Glosario boasts with seven African languages: Afrikaans, Setswana, isiXhosa, isiZulu, አማርኛ, Kiswahili and Southern Sotho.

  6. You can read more about The Carpentries in Africa here.

What We Do

  • Monthly African Community Meetup: Hosted each 4th Thursday of the month, 12:00 - 13:00 SAST (10:00 - 11:00 UTC). If you want to join, please sign up at collaborative document.

2024 meetings:

  • ~~25 January, Topic of the Month: Reigniting The Carpentries discussion by Angelique Trusler and Kari Jordan~~

  • ~~22 February, Topic of the Month: African Reproducibility Network, Bridge gaps in open science advocacy and adoption through workshops and local communities of practice. RN represented across Europe, North and South America, Australia and Africa with nearly 20 national RN established globally. Engage directly with grassroots researchers and institutions to promote best practices~~

  • ~~28 March, Topic of the Month: Being an Instructor at The Carpentries by Angelique Trusler~~

  • ~~18 April, Topic of the Month: Glosario Hackathon~~

  • ~~23 May, Topic of the Month: Networking Session~~

  • 25 July, Topic of the Month: Setting up your Carpentries Workshop Website with Jannetta Steyn

  • 22 August, Topic of the month: TBA

  • 26 September, Topic of the month: TBA

  • 24 October, Topic of the month: Networking session

  • 28 November, Topic of the month: 2024 Retrospective

  • Mentoring for Instructors and Helpers before a workshop: Some members of the African instructor community are willing to host online mentoring sessions for instructors and helpers before a workshop to ensure everyone knows what to expect and what is expected of them. If you are available to meet with an instructor/helper team before they run a workshop to answer any questions they may have or to help them prepare for the lessons they will be teaching, please get in touch via our email. We can pair you up with a team at a time and date that works best for you.

  • Angelique Trusler, the African Capacity Development Manager, is ready to help you with any questions about running Carpentries workshops or any other ways you can get involved with The Carpentries in Africa! Contact her at


Join Us

To join the conversation about The Carpentries in Africa, sign up at Topicbox and join the Slack channel #local-africa. If you’ve trained as an instructor in Africa (even if you’re not qualified yet), sign up at Topicbox

We would love to get more people involved in specific activities to support our growing African community - Meet the South African instructors here!

Subscribe to the calendar below to watch all happening throughout our community.

Community Calendar goes here

Historical support

The first Carpentries workshops in Africa were run in 2013 but only kicked off in 2015. An African Task Force was established in 2016, consisting of international mentors from the USA, UK, and Australia. They guided the first batch of trained African instructors through the checkout process as most were very isolated and new to The Carpentries.

Since then, more than 180 African instructors have participated in online or in-person instructor training events. The African Task Force was revived in December 2017 and consisted of African instructors. The task force played a role in mentoring instructors who had been trained but hadn’t qualified and qualified instructors who needed support before teaching a workshop. Small online sessions were hosted by task force members to demonstrate how various lessons are taught and to help solidify skills in the tools we teach. The second African Task Force finished its activities in December 2018. Some South African-based activities were funded through the Rural Campuses Connection Project II (RCCP II), which ended in March 2019. You can read more about the experiences of the African Task Force in this blog post and about RCCPII here.

Blog posts and other Carpentries activities in Africa