Hakeem Fahm, the Commissioner for Science and Technology in Lagos State described technology as a key driver of efficiency in any successful organisation.
He said this at the graduation ceremony for 22 Nigerians that successful completed a three-month intensive digital training and certification programme based on SAP S/4HANA Financial Accounting and SAP Activate Project Management.
According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Nigeria had only seven PCs per 1 000 residents (for a 0.7% PC penetration rate) in 2004. By 2016, this had grown to 11%, but it remains prohibitively low, severely limiting opportunities for digital skills development for most of its more than 190 million citizens.
Fahm enjoined private sector partners to drive sustainable digital skills development in the communities in which they operate to ensure we jointly build a bright future for all Nigeria’s citizens in the digital age.
According to SAP Africa’s Managing Director for West Africa, Pedro Guerreiro, these challenges are insurmountable without all stakeholders working together to address the country’s digital skills divide. “SAP Africa’s partnership approach prioritises the facilitation of digital transformation to empower local communities with the skills and tools they need to build bright futures in this exponential era. The terrific response from local graduates point to a growing need and appetite for greater exposure to some of the world’s most pervasive business applications, as well as the employment opportunities that are unlocked with the acquisition of skills and certification in such applications.”
SAP Skills for Africa is designed to train and certify young graduate students with the aim of providing public and private sector organisations with critical digital skills to drive digital transformation and growth in key economic hubs across the continent.
The program is part of SAP’s ongoing commitment to closing the skills gap and runs beyond Africa, in a total of 22 countries across the globe, as SAP’s Young Professional Program. Globally, the programme has trained more than 2130 graduates since its inception in 2012.
“SAP Africa’s resolve to be at the forefront of bridging the digital divide in Nigeria is commendable. SAP Skills for Africa offers great synergies with our broader government-led efforts to drive digital transformation and establish globally-competitive research facilities for the promotion of innovation, research and development in science and ICT, as well as promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills development,” he said.
The first-ever SAP Skills for Africa programme in Nigeria was supported by Shell Nigeria, Rufus Alexander Consulting Limited (A WYZE Group Company), Thamani Consulting and Serve Consulting. All 22 graduates are now Certified SAP Associate Consultants, ready to embark on their professional career journey with these organizations and beyond.
According to Bolarinwa Onaolapo, Nigeria Content Industry Collaboration and Advocacy Manager at Shell Nigeria, the entry of high-skilled local graduates will provide a powerful boost to the organisation’s local skills capacity. “Access to deep, relevant digital skills will be one of the defining features of tomorrow’s successful companies. As one of Nigeria’s most active private sector players, Shell Nigeria welcomes the newly-skilled graduates and anticipate their entry to the 21st century workforce with excitement.”