SAP Continues to Endorse Skills Development in North Africa

SAP Skills for Africa Moroccan students graduate with 100% pass-rate Casablanca and Rabat to host Africa Code Week pilot project

CASABLANCA, MoroccoSAP today announced the successful graduation of all 39 students from the first Moroccan chapter of SAP’s Skills for Africa (SFA) programme. All the students who were selected from a group of 80 qualified candidates, and who had been shortlisted for interview from over 300 applications, are going on to internships with SAP Africa Moroccan partners and customers as part of the initiative. In this context, SAP also announced today that Casablanca and Rabat will be locations for SAP’s third Africa Code Week (ACW) software coding training pilot project and the first to be conducted in French-speaking Africa.

“Today’s announcements are further validation of SAP’s commitment to skills development and job creation as part of the SAP Africa investment plan that was announced in 2014,” said Pfungwa Serima, Executive Chairman of SAP Africa. “These developments are important milestones in SAP’s seven-year plan to upskill African talent and thereby help promote sustainable innovation and growth. North Africa is a strategic region for SAP. The market has shown its potential and is proving its readiness to become increasingly innovative. Growing the IT skills base across the continent not only supports SAP’s vision to help the world run better, but also underscores the fact that we’re very serious about Africa.”

Part of SAP Africa’s goal to enable 10,000 trained African ICT consultants by 2020 focused on Africa’s growth industries, SAP’s Skills for Africa programme kicked off in 2013 in Kenya. With growth and the scarcity of skills on the African continent top of mind, this programme – a first of its kind in the industry in Africa – offers selected students the opportunity to develop world-class IT and business skills, effectively giving them an opportunity to play a role in contributing towards Africa’s future economic growth and infrastructure development.

The commencement of the Moroccan chapter of the initiative was announced in May this year and together with ATOS, Blue Storm, CBI, EOH/BC Skills, HP-CDG, Progesto, Corporate Software, ValuePass Consulting, Conso’System Consulting and Injaz Al-Maghrib, the OCP Foundation and Cosumar, the training has been successfully completed for the first class with all candidates passing with flying colours and the internships about to commence.

“We are excited about getting involved in the SAP Skills for Africa programme which strategically addresses the scarcity of ICT and business skills, as well as helps to create jobs in North Africa,” said Amine Lahbichi, Cosumar Improve Project Director.

“The ongoing investment and commitment to sustainable partnerships reinforces SAP’s intention to continue supporting its partners by actively contributing toward crucial technology and business skills, and creating new employment opportunities in North Africa. We’re now able to provide skilled graduates to our customers thanks to the SAP Skills for Africa programme,” said Fouad Jellal, General Manager at CBI, an SAP Africa partner.

Africa Code Week supporting SAP skills development agenda

While providing ICT training at a tertiary level is a central pillar of the SAP Africa investment plan, foundational learning from a young age is similarly critical, as less than one percent of African children are leaving school with basic software coding skills. ACW is a continent-wide initiative scheduled for the beginning of October that aims to promote digital literacy to and simplify the face of coding for 20,000 children and youth across 17 African countries, including Morocco, this year.

Locally, SAP is partnering with Simplon, Atos and Maker Mind to train Moroccan teachers, students and volunteers to become ACW mentors with a view to teach simple coding skills, and enable more advanced young learners with mobile application development inspired by WhatsApp, in workshops during ACW in October. Together with Andrei Vladescu-Olt, Simplon co-founder, six SAP volunteers from Belgium, France and Dubai, will oversee ACW pilot events in Rabat and Casablanca from September 14th to 17th, to train the 150+ Moroccan volunteers, including the Skills for Africa graduates who will also act as ACW mentors. Each mentor, once trained on the MIT “Scratch” learning platform, a popular system adopted by millions of young learners worldwide, commits to teach coding to at least ten children and youth during the workshops.

In addition, as part of the ACW run-up, the Ampion Venture Bus will make an appearance in Casablanca at New Work Lab on September 17th. In partnership with StartUp YourLife and New Work Lab, a panel of judges, including SAP executives, will encourage local students to pitch their business ideas to the panel, with the aim of uncovering fresh entrepreneurial talent.

All ACW courses are also available for free online on openSAP platform in English and French. The courses are designed for anyone interested in teaching coding to children aged 8 to 11 (Teaching Programming to Young Learners) and youth aged 12 to 17 (Teens Get Coding!).

“SAP is committed to improving people’s lives through the deployment of innovative software solutions. This is not possible without developing the right skills at both the foundational and tertiary level with the support of SAP’s valuable partners and customers thereby helping create the right environment for market-relevant skills to flourish in the communities in which SAP does business. The importance of initiatives like SAP Skills for Africa and Africa Code Week cannot be underestimated.” Serima concluded.

For more information, visit the SAP Newsroom.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 293,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com/africa.

With more than 1,300 customers across the continent, SAP is already enabling African businesses and governments to grow, scale and globalise, as well as make the transition to a digital economy. As part of this commitment, SAP Africa now takes responsibility for operations across 52 African countries.

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