Bright future for digital workforce at Francophone Africa leg of 2017 SAP Skills for Africa
Following an intense 9-week on-site training program held between the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir and the Rhamna Skills Center, supported by OCP Foundation in Morocco, the 2017 class of the Francophone Africa leg of SAP Africa’s Skills for Africa initiative has drawn to a close at a graduation ceremony held at the university. In a first for the initiative, this year’s Francophone Africa leg saw female participation top 60%, with graduates from Cote d’Ivoire and Algeria also taking part.
Skills for Africa was launched in 2015 as a skills development initiative between SAP Africa, its customers, and various public and private sector partners. It provides unemployed graduates across the continent with the opportunity at a regional or global career within the SAP ecosystem by training and certifying them in the world’s most powerful SAP software suite of business systems and applications. The initiative has been globally recognized for its impact: in January, The SAP Skills for Africa programme received the prestigious Hasso Plattner Founder’s Award, the highest accolade awarded by SAP to an individual or team from around the globe.
Head of Skills for Africa at SAP Africa, Meena Confait said The SAP Skills for Africa programme has provided job placements for more than 400 consultants since its launch in 2015. “We saw 39 graduates complete their training at the inaugural Skills for Africa in Morocco in 2015. Since then, the initiative has achieved tremendous success in Southern and East Africa, with hundreds of graduates trained in the latest SAP technology. And while the number of graduates have increased to 63, it is the fact that more than 60% of the class are female that is most encouraging to us. This makes a strong case for further efforts to encourage women on the continent to pursue careers in technology, and to support our organizational goal of driving diversity and inclusion in the workplace across the African continent.”
SAP Skills for Africa has grown and matured over its short lifespan, bringing growing numbers of graduates, partners and customers together to help promote economic growth and develop substantive ICT skills that change lives in a sustainable manner.
SAP Africa Managing Director: Francophone Africa, Frederic Alran, said: “With Africa expected to have the world’s largest talent pool by 2040, it is imperative that the public and private sectors work in partnership to equip this new generation of African youth with vital digital skills. By training top graduate talent in the main economic hubs across Africa, SAP Africa is enabling the public and private sectors to improve the way they do business on the continent, driving economic growth through the development of the continent’s most precious resource: its youth. We are proud of our graduate team from 2017 and wish them all the best as they enter the formal workforce at our various partner organisations.”
All 63 graduates will now be placed at participating Francophone Africa partners and customers, including Cevital, ValuePass, Cosumar, Universap, Progesto, BC Skills, EOH, Ailink Telecom as well as the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University.
Karima Shiri, Director of the Social Actions and Youth Empowerment Program at OCP Foundation, said: “We are glad that this high value added training was held at one of our Skills Centers which ambition and role revolve around improving youth’ employability. In fact, the Skills Centers, that are supported by OCP Foundation, outcome from the OCP Group’s will to offer young populations, in its operating regions, a pleasant and integrated environment meant for training, coaching and job related information, as well as promoting various activities. We are pleased with the success of this training and we wish the participants the best of success in their future endeavors.”
Amine Lahbichi, Cosumar Chief Information Officer and Transformation Programme Director, said: "Our organisation has been involved in the SAP Skills for Africa since the first chapter was hosted in Morocco in 2015, we have witnessed how this programme helps to address the ICT and business skills shortage, supporting businesses in need of scarce skills and driving economic growth in the region. We're proud to be part of the initiative and look forward to building on this year's success."
Louis Diakite, Executive Chairman of Alink Telecom, added: "SAP's commitment to skills development and ICT training continues to provide its partners and customers with valuable support and helps drive digital transformation in the region. With businesses in West and Central Africa in need of scarce technology skills, the Skills for Africa program offers businesses access to skilled graduates resulting in a direct impact on the industry in the Côte d’Ivoire specifically. This program should be supported by all SAP customers and partners, to ensure positive operational impact, while creating much-needed employment opportunities for the next generation of Africa's workforce."
“We are grateful to our partners and customers for their support in helping empower graduates with a chance to apply the technical and soft skills learned through their participation in this year’s Skills for Africa. By bridging the gap between technical knowledge and real-world business experience, we are collectively driving the development of a new generation of digital workers that can power Africa’s economic engine. As digital technology continues to transform businesses and governments across the continent, our well-trained and well-equipped graduates will have an immediate positive impact on the organisations and countries where they work,” added Alran.
The 2017 SAP Africa Skills for Africa next moves to East Africa, Kenya in July 2017, followed by another South Africa chapter in the fourth quarter of this year.