SAP donates R500 000 towards ICT skills development for underprivileged students in Africa.
Johannesburg — SAP AG, the world’s leading provider of business software, announced that Sanjay Poonen, President and Corporate Officer of the Mobile Division for SAP AG, officially opened the SAP Laboratory at the CIDA ICT Academy Lyndhurst campus on 6 June 2012.
SAP revealed that it has invested half a million rand towards the construction of the new ICT academy at the non-profit tertiary institution, which provides thousands of young graduates with free university education, and thereby lends itself to the socio-economic transformation of Africa.
As part of this initiative, 25 young CIDA ICT students are set to benefit from world-class training at the SAP Laboratory in 2012, using SAP Business One software solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SMEs currently make up almost 80% of SAP’s customer base, which equates to more than 86 000 SME customers that are running better using SAP technology.
During the unveiling of the SAP Laboratory, Poonen welcomed the students and encouraged them to drive the principle of learning as well as skills transferral. “As a company, we are committed to supporting education and entrepreneurship, and I hope that what you learn with SAP, you will find ways to give back to society.”
SAP has been collaborating with the CIDA ICT Academy since 2003 to support underprivileged students, and hence providing young entrepreneurs with the skills required to participate in the global ICT business arena and economy.
Poonen said SAP is committed as an organisation to a culture of skills development, social upliftment as well as giving back to the community. He added that SAP has identified Africa as a key growth market and will continue to invest in skills development in this developing region. “The relationship we have with governments and tertiary institutions such as CIDA City Campus is of significant importance to SAP. We see great opportunity in terms of Africa, and through our investments in institutions like CIDA, we are able to tangibly demonstrate our commitment to our customers, partners and community service.”
As a founding member of the academy, in partnership with T-Systems, SAP Africa has been a longstanding supporter of the CIDA ICT Academy. In addition to providing free training on Business One software to selected students, SAP also offers financial contribution, which is used towards rent, utilities and infrastructure, as well as textbooks, tuition, exam fees and student lunches. Since the CIDA ICT Academy’s inception, SAP Africa has invested more than R8 million into the non-profit institution.
Jurgen Koegel, acting CEO of CIDA, said: “Here at CIDA, we not only teach our students to excel in class, we go beyond the boundaries of a lecture room. Holistic development of a student is what we are all about. CIDA is a home away from home, a motto that all the students live by.” In his acceptance speech, Koegel thanked SAP for the sustained support: “CIDA was proud of the partnership with SAP and the amazing outputs produced by the ICT academy. This is demonstrated by the high proportion of disadvantaged graduates from the academy, who will now be contributors of relevant ICT skills in the economy.”
Poonen said: “Cloud and mobility are the innovation vectors of the future. By delivering solutions that combine innovation in analytics, applications, cloud, mobile and database technology, we believe we are creating a better-run world. But to make that happen we need to make sure that young people today have the right skills to meet the demands of the future.”
Operating as a non-profit organisation, CIDA is devoted to preparing its students to be productive members of the African economy. Since its inception, the academy has boasted a 95% pass, with 85% of graduates securing employment in the ICT sector.
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