SAP Skills for Africa Programme to empower 100 Kenyan students for the East African market
SAP, in line with the Kenyan government's 2020 vision, has committed to invest in empowering 100 underprivileged Kenyan university graduates over a 12-month period.
Global business software giant, SAP, in partnership with the Kenya ICT Board and the MMU, has embarked on a pioneering initiative, called the SAP Skills for Africa partnership programme, which is aimed to spur the country's IT skills capacity. This announcement was made today at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to the CEO of SAP Africa, Pfungwa Serima: "The SAP Skills for Africa programme commits to deliver professional training and provide official ICT certification to 100 Kenyan university graduates over a 12-month period. The programme seeks to substantially improve the employability of young, bright-minded university graduates that come from underprivileged backgrounds. This is in line with the Kenyan government's mandate to promote digital inclusion, to forge Kenya as an ICT hub for Africa while driving ICT skills development, and this resonates strongly with our corporate social responsibility policy of supporting education and entrepreneurship."
The SAP Skills for Africa programme aims to ensure that each and every university graduate on the programme is equipped with the skills necessary to enter the job market and not only gain economic stability and prosperity, but also be able to plough back into the SAP ecosystem.
"The SAP partnership is key in equipping our young professionals with high-end ICT skills that are in demand in the Kenyan and the wider East African market," said Kenya ICT Board CEO, Paul Kukubo. He added: "This effort provides a much-needed skill set for graduates who would otherwise not have had the privilege to be exposed to this specific set of world-class skills."
Delivery of this programme includes providing certified instructors, training material and case studies. As part of the investment, SAP has agreed to waive any costs related to the programme for the students, which also includes significant financial investment.
Modules of study for this period will be focused on best business practices and SAP skills in the areas of financial and managerial accounting, sales and distribution, procurement, human capital management, database and technology, system administration and also around business reporting.
Andrew Waititu, Managing Director of SAP East Africa, highlighted that "SAP, as a global information technology leader, recognises and embraces its commitment to the communities in which it operates. We believe the private sector plays a vital role in creating a level playing field, driving innovation and building an environment that enhances education and entrepreneurship to foster economic growth. As such, we must work collaboratively to find solutions that help underserved youth and emerging entrepreneurs who have the necessary skills to succeed in the global economy."
Waititu added: "By working proactively with government bodies, and also with SAP customers and partners, we have taken the lead to deliver this special programme in order to provide opportunity for students to receive additional practical skills, as well as business and system knowledge, which will help them to be better-equipped in today's job marketplace, thereby increasing their possibility to be employed."
The programme builds on the knowledge students gained during their university studies, and provides them with hands-on practical experience in working with the world's leading business software applications company. Being educated on SAP software not only provides valuable skills on how to use the software, but also teaches participants best business practices and processes, which will greatly benefit the graduates as well as the future organisations in which they will be employed.
SAP is committed to ensure that, upon graduation from this programme, students also receive a chance to put the acquired knowledge into practical use in the real work environment. For this purpose, SAP has started to work with its customers and partners to ensure that all graduates on the programme receive internships, which will further solidify their acquired knowledge during the course of the programme.
The Kenya ICT Board's mandate and objectives are based on advising the Kenyan government on all relevant matters pertaining to the development and promotion of ICT industries in the country. In addition, the Kenya ICT Board provides government and other stakeholders with skills, capacity and funding for ICT projects in order to rapidly and innovatively transform Kenya through the promotion of ICT for socio-economic development.