Tech skills boost East, West African industries


SAP Young Professionals Programme. File photo

from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – THE graduation of some youth professionals empowered with software expertise is poised to address the acute technology skills shortage across East and West Africa.

They have graduated in the SAP Young Professionals Programme, run under the company’s Skills for Africa initiative.

The 26 individuals are from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda.

Amin Meqdadi, Head of Mid-Market for Africa at SAP, said the graduates would bring invaluable work-ready tech skills to organisations in the regions and support digital transformation efforts.

“Access to suitably qualified tech skills is one of the biggest challenges facing African organisations, and the need for tech skills is likely to only increase due to the rising demand for digital tools and processes,” Meqdadi said.

Meqdadi said the SAP Young Professionals Programme plays a vital role by providing digital skill enablement opportunities for youth, and helps alleviate the skills crunch that most African organisations face.

Research recently released by SAP revealed that only 3 percent of organizations in East and West Africa disclosed they did not expect to have any tech skills challenges in 2023.

Ninety-three (93) percent of organisations also said the need for tech skills has increased in the past 12 months, with two-thirds of Nigerian organisations citing a “significant” increase.

SAP offers several skills development initiatives under the umbrella of Skills for Africa, including the SAP Young Professionals Programme and the SAP Dual Study Program as well as a newly launched scheme, called SAP Digital Skills Training Programme, running for the first time in South Africa this year.

The 2-3 months SAP Young Professionals Programme covers an 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 training.

It targets graduates from universities.

Since its launch in 2012, the programme has trained and graduated more than 4 000 talents across 41 countries globally, including more than 1 900 graduates from 22 African countries.

Henok Petros, a graduate from Ethiopia who formed part of the latest cohort, said the programme helped with a different insight and helped me see their own potential in many ways.

“I’m grateful that I could successfully complete the training, and enjoyed it as it helped me interact with different trainers and colleagues from all over Africa,” said Petros.

Graduate, Nardos Yilma, said the programme equipped her with skills that enable her to have a lasting impact in her community and the world at large.

“The knowledge and skills I acquired during the program, coupled with the training experience, have helped me launch my consulting career inside the SAP ecosystem, boosting my confidence and expanding my professional goals,” Yilma said.

The next cohort of SAP Young Professionals Programme, with candidates from South Africa, will commence their training at the end of March and will graduate in June.

– CAJ News

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