Global business software firm SAP has announced a seven-year $500 million plan to up-skill local African talent and drive sustainable innovation and growth in Africa. Kenya will be among the key beneficiaries of the investment along with four other core countries; South Africa, Nigeria, Angola and Morocco.
The announcement comes on the back of an impressive double-digit growth rate momentum for SAP Africa where the company serves 1,300 customers across 51 countries.
The investment will focus on accelerating industry growth in energy and natural resources, utilities, public sector, financial service and telecos in the core countries.
Speaking at the launch of the growth plan, Robert Enslin, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and president of Global Customer Operations said the Board strongly believes that it is the right time for SAP to increase engagement and commitment in Africa.
“SAP’s additional investment in the continent reflects our vision to help the world run better by delivering leading-edge innovation. In Africa, we plan to engage and invest in even more markets while helping build the appropriate talent base for the IT industry and support our customers and partners by actively contributing toward crucial technology and business skills-sets and new employment opportunities in Africa,” said Enslin.
A significant amount of human resource investment will go to SAP’s Skills for Africa Programme. Kenya hosted the pilot programme which saw 67 IT graduates earn SAP certification and all secured employment with partners and SAP.
Pfungwa Serima, CEO SAP Africa said the Skills for Africa Programme will be extended to other parts of Africa.
“The launch of additional Skills for Africa Scholarship Programme sessions in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Angola by year end will foster an open business ecosystem of SAP-qualified consultants to execute on various projects. This follows on the heels of the announcement last year of SAP Africa’s skills development agreement with the World Bank,” added Serima.
Kenya will also benefit from the company’s Emerging Entrepreneur Initiative which has been on-going in South Africa. SAP selected Kenya as the next market for the initiative due to the strength and potential of the Kenyan market to grow and support a thriving entrepreneur ecosystem.
East Africa SAP MD, Andrew Waititu, expressed confidence that Kenya, and the region will continue to grow by providing innovative solutions for public service, utilities and SMEs.
“Innovative technologies such as mobility and the cloud are among the fastest growing IT segments and are already having a significant impact on businesses’ ability to grow and innovate,” said Mark Walker, director: Insights and Vertical Industries, IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey, IDC.