SAP Skills for Africa Hosts Second Chapter in Francophone Africa, With Increased Female Participation

A new-look SAP Skills for Africa has kicked off, with the Francophone Africa leg of the student orientation taking place in Ben Gerier. The 2017 iteration of the continent-wide initiative aims once again to train and certify young unemployed graduates in SAP, the world’s most powerful software suite of business systems and applications, and place them in actual positions at partner organisations.

The training schedule will take place over a three-month period and is sponsored by regional partners, including the OCP Foundation, the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University and Universap, which is the hardware sponsor of this programme.

According to Meena Confait, Head of Skills for Africa at SAP Africa, the Francophone Africa leg of this year’s initiative will see some key changes from the previous year. “In our first year of the Francophone Africa leg of Skills for Africa in 2015, we celebrated the successful graduation of 39 students who all became certified SAP associate consultants, securing placements with our Moroccan partners and customers and even some joining the SAP Francophone team.

This year, our 64 graduates will for the first time stay on-site at the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic, during the training schedule. To drive SAP Africa’s vision for a diverse and inclusive workplace, we are also hugely proud to announce that female participation in the 2017 programme is more than 60%.”

SAP Skills for Africa has grown and matured over its short lifespan, bringing growing numbers of graduates, partners and customers together to help promote economic growth and develop substantive ICT skills that change lives in a sustainable manner. In January this year, the initiative was awarded the prestigious Hasso Founders’ Award, the highest employee recognition at SAP awarded annually by the CEO to an individual or a team from around the globe.

SAP Africa Managing Director, Francophone Africa, Frederic Alran, said: “By 2040, Africa will have a working age population of more than 1.1 billion, creating the world’s largest and fastest growing talent pool. With a dire shortage of technical skills worldwide, Africa is likely to play a critical role in driving digital transformation around the world. We are proud to work with our partners and customers to play our part in helping address this challenge.”

 Francophone Africa partners and customers who will take the successful graduates into internships after they successfully complete their training include Cevital, ValuePass, Cosumar, Universap, Progesto, BC Skills, EOH, Ailink Telecommunications as well as the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University. “Tomorrow’s workforce requires keen technical knowledge and practical experience in real-world business scenarios,” commented Alran. “In most of Africa, digital training is not accessible to all and often lacks the key skills that the employment market requires. Initiatives such as SAP Skills for Africa help close the gap between training and workforce requirements by involving partners and customers to ensure graduates walk out of training with instantly implementable skills and experience. Our graduates make an immediate positive impact in the companies where they are placed upon completing their training.”

Using a hybrid approach of classroom and e-learning training, with hands-on simulated exercises, the three month programme will afford the participants the opportunity to develop world-class IT skills. The training will comprise seven classes and modules and SAP flagship in-memory technology, SAP S/4HANA, will be introduced as part of the training for the first time.

The course also incorporates essential business and soft skills training, with a formal SAP Academy accreditation resulting in internationally recognised associate SAP consultant certification. The programme is fully-sponsored with no cost to qualifying university graduates.

Mrs. Karima Sghiri, Director of the Social Actions and Youth Empowerment Program at the OCP Foundation, one of the Francophone Africa partners to the programme, said: “A key success factor to this programme, is the partnership between the public and private sector. The OCP Foundation is pleased to partner with SAP, government and other private sector organisations, to enable these graduates to become active contributors to our economy.”

Noura Meddahi, Director Information Systems at Cevital an SAP customer in Algeria, said: “Cevital understands that technology is a radical game-changer and that it facilitates the Digital Transformation process. Our future business leaders need the training and qualifications to pursue careers in the ICT fields. This initiative supports disadvantaged students to develop a future focus and because it delivers highly skilled, business-ready graduates, it enables our organisation to offer our customers the highest levels of skilled services.”

Alran concludes: “For Africa’s GDP to grow to the projected $2.6-trillion by 2020, it is imperative that African youth have opportunities to develop key skills to realise the continent’s economic potential. Skills for Africa is a job-creation vehicle that fully leverages the power of SAP’s existing ecosystem, creating a tangible and direct impact on people’s lives. We look forward to seeing this new class graduate and join our partners and customers to help drive Africa’s economic prosperity in the years to come.”