Digital transformation initiatives in East Africa received a welcome boost as 52 skilled youth graduated from an expanded East African SAP Skills for Africa program.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony held at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi, ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru said that each graduate has already been placed at SAP partner and customer organizations in the region.
“This year marked our first expanded East Africa program, with candidates from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia completing their training in key SAP solutions. In line with our commitment to diversity, we are also proud to announce that 40% of the graduates are female,” said CS Mucheru.
SAP Skills for Africa is a skills development initiative between SAP Africa, its customers, and various public and private sector partners, it focuses on training and certifying graduates in a broad spectrum of SAP software and business solutions. Since its inception in 2012, it has provided training and industry job placement opportunities for more than 400 consultants, with more than a third of them assimilated through the partnership with the ICT Authority.
In January, Skills for Africa received the prestigious Hasso Plattner Founder’s Award, the highest accolade awarded by SAP to an individual or team from around the globe, for its impact on digital skills development in Africa.
“By focusing on developing practical digital skills related to actual market needs, SAP Skills for Africa graduates are able to make an immediate positive impact in the workplace. The 52 young professionals graduating are fully equipped to implement and manage SAP Business One solution within our partner and customer organizations in the region” said Neena Confait, Head of SAP Skills for Africa.
This year marked the first time that SAP Skills for Africa involved graduates and companies from Ethiopia. According to Mr. Berhanu Kebede, CIO of the Ethiopia Electric Utility, the graduates will play a vital part in the company’s mission to create an IT-enabled world class Electric Utility Company for ultimate customer satisfaction.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony Mr. Joe Mucheru, emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts to create jobs in our ecosystem through skills, “In line with the National ICT Master Plan, the development of quality ICT human resources is a prerequisite to the development of a viable ICT sector. The training and certification are playing a key role by equipping the unemployed youth with the right skills to run the most demanding applications in the market,” said CS Mucheru.
Dr. Gilbert Saggia, Managing Director: East Africa at SAP Africa, said this year’s graduates will have a major impact on local organizations’ digital transformation efforts. “With SMEs accounting for as much as 80% of all new jobs created on the continent, it is critical that we support and drive the success of this sector. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution accelerates, organizations ranging from large enterprises to SMEs will need scarce digital skills to ensure their success in a dynamic business environment. We look forward to building on the success of the past few years, and look forward to seeing how today’s graduates make their presence felt at our valued partner and customer ecosystem,” said Dr. Gilbert Saggia.
The graduates will be placed in various organizations throughout East Africa and are set to begin work soon.