Twenty-five newly-trained young digital professionals have graduated from the first-ever SAP Young Professional Program held in Ethiopia in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The graduates will join SAP partner and customer businesses where their new digital skills will be put to practice to contribute to Ethiopia’s ambitions of becoming the next major African tech hub.
Ethiopia is the continent’s fastest-growing economy and is home to a large, youthful population: half of its 105 million citizens are under the age of 18. The Ethiopian government has recently introduced a range of World Bank-backed measures to liberalise its economy and unlock greater innovation potential in light of the changes brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director: Central Africa at SAP Africa said: “Technology and innovation is the language of the new generation, and the best opportunity for building a bright future for the region and the continent. Our contribution to local digital skill build initiatives also assists with creating the conditions that are conducive to technology and innovation, enabling us to expand opportunities for greater participation in the digital economy for the continent’s large and growing youth population.”
The SAP Young Professional Program is offered under the umbrella of SAP Skills for Africa on the continent, and has since its launch in 2012 trained and graduated more than 990 youths across Africa, and more than 2550 globally. This is the first time it is held in Ethiopia.
The 2-3 month program covers a unique enablement plan that includes SAP software functional/technical knowledge and certification with key focus on SAP’s latest innovations as well as soft and future skill trainings. It targets bright graduates from universities – all of which unemployed and/ or underemployed and nationals of the country where the program is offered. Participants graduate from the program as SAP Associate Consultants, with a competitive edge in the job market, and benefit from introductions to job opportunities within the SAP ecosystem to help them secure a position.
Guerreiro pointed to the urgency of equipping Africa’s large and growing workforce with digital skills. “Africa’s youth population is expected to more than double to over 450 million by 2055. If our continent is to benefit from the advantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a collective effort is needed among public and private -sector organisations to equip our youth with the technical and soft skills they need to thrive. We thank our customers and partners including 12 Springs Innovation Hub LLC, Ethiopian Airlines, Fairfax Technologies, Gebeya and Quadfecta Technology, that hired our program graduates of the first SAP Young Professional Program in Ethiopia and hereby join our efforts to enable today’s youth for the Digital Era with the start of this unique initiative. The launch of this program follows ongoing collaborations with Ethiopia’s public and private sector around SAP’s Africa Code Week initiative, which has equipped more than 4.1 million youth across Africa with basic coding and digital skills since 2015.”
The inaugural SAP Young Professional Program in Ethiopia is part of a recently announced collaboration between SAP and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with the aim to jointly create 450 jobs for highly-qualified personnel in the IT sector in ten African countries over the course of three years. The cooperation project is part of the special initiative “Training and Job Creation” and the develoPPP for jobs program that the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements on behalf of BMZ. The Ethiopia program follows the conclusion of successful programs in Morocco and Nigeria earlier in the year as part of this collaboration.
“I call it a quadruple-win program, and that’s what makes it so unique: local youth find meaningful work opportunities, our SAP customers and partners find brilliant talents, SAP enhances its ecosystem, and countries benefit as we support digital skills build and hereby help to prepare the economy and society for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Marita Mitschein, Managing Director of the SAP Training and Development Institute and Senior Vice President Digital Skills at SAP South Europe, Africa and Middle East, who launched the program back in 2012.