by Staff Writer
SAP Africa announced on Thursday that its skills development initiative, Skills for Africa, has been awarded the prestigious Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award for 2016. This is the highest employee recognition at SAP, awarded annually by SAP CEO Bill McDermott, to an individual or a team from around the globe.
SAP Africa Skills for Africa affords participants the opportunity to develop world-class IT and business skills (with exacting global SAP certification) and then translates the training into internships and employment with customers and partners of SAP.
In doing so, this programme contributes to creating sustainable workplaces for the next generation of African youth by creating a pool of skilled local African resources that can drive the innovation agenda over the next few decades.
Africa currently has the fastest-growing working-age population of any region in the world, and seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies can be found on the continent. However, education levels for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related subjects remain low, and less than 1% of African children currently leave school with basic coding skills. With the working-age African population expected to double to 1 billion in the next 25 years, and Africa’s GDP to grow to $2.6-trillion by 2020, it is imperative that African youth have opportunities to develop key skills to realise the continent’s economic potential.
SAP Africa Skills for Africa distinguishes itself by making job creation an integral part of the programme.
“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,” said Meena Confait, head of SAP Africa Skills for Africa, the initiative delivers on SAP’s vision by addressing Africa’s skills gap in a simple yet effective way.
“The feedback from participants about how the initiative has impacted their lives by giving them a strong start to their futures is a highly encouraging and rewarding experience.”
“SAP not only trains and certifies young and dynamic graduates through this program, it also puts them into employment. This creates a sustainable skills pipeline that enhances SAP’s long term viability, and brings us closer to bringing the promise of digital transformation to life on the African continent.”