by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SYSTEMS Applications and Products (SAP) has reaffirmed its commitment to youth skills by profiling its Educate to Employ initiative, a public-private partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
This initiative aims to educate youth aged 16–24 years on soft skills, foundational knowledge and SAP skills using the student zone on the SAP Learning site, where students can learn about the latest SAP solutions for free to kickstart their career.
The scheme forms part of SAP’s global commitment to supporting UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited (GenU). The latter is a public-private-youth-partnership that aims to deliver innovative solutions to challenges youth face around the world.
In the region, the partnership is aimed at helping young people in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa gain skills for employment, with 100 youth forming part of the initial intake in South Africa.
Pinky Kekana, South Africa Deputy Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, said skilling of youth to meaningfully participate in the digital economy is essential to an equality-centric and prosperous nation.
“The South African government is encouraged by the initiative and we look forward to supporting efforts to scale the SAP Educate to Employ initiative,” Kekana said.
Kholiwe Makhohliso, Managing Director at SAP Southern Africa, concurred.
“Upskilling and mobilising Africa’s youth population is one of the defining challenges of our time,” the executive said.
“To build a prosperous future for all, we must urgently address one of South Africa and the continent’s greatest challenges – youth unemployment – which affects a disproportionate number of African youth.”
The initiative builds on SAP’s other youth skills development initiatives throughout Africa, including Africa Code Week, which has trained nearly 14 million African youth in basic coding skills, and SAP Young Professional Programme, which has equipped nearly 2 000 youth in Africa with work-ready SAP skills and certification as well as direct job placements.
SAP and UNICEF first joined forces in support of GenU in 2019 launching in India, Turkey and Vietnam. The partnership was further extended in 2022 with a US$4,55 million over three years investment focused on impacting youth in Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa.
It has generated opportunities for over 7,6 million adolescents through inclusive and innovative skills development programmes.
Christine Muhigana, UNICEF representative in South Africa, said, “Through our partnership with SAP and working closely with key public sector role-players, we believe that this initiative can potentially make a lasting positive impact on youth job prospects in South Africa and beyond.”
– CAJ News