At the fourth in the series of five SAP Africa Forums that are being held across the continent this year, SAP Africa today shared the details of the latest chapter in the company’s Skills for Africa job creation initiative.
Part of SAP Africa’s goal to provide 10,000 trained ICT consultants by 2020 focused on Africa’s growth industries, the Morocco program represents intense collaboration between SAP Africa and its partners in the region, many of whom are also united by a mission to drive socio-economic growth and stimulate job creation.
In an African Economic Outlook survey among experts on 36 African countries about the major challenges youth face in labour markets, 54% found a mismatch of skills between what job seekers have to offer and what employers require to be a major obstacle. In this context, the first chapter of the SAP Skills for Africa initiative was launched by SAP Africa and the Kenyan government in 2012. Since then, the effort has gained significant momentum.
With growth and the scarcity of ICT and business skills as well as jobs in North Africa top of mind for many, over the course of the last six months SAP Africa actively engaged with partners who are similarly committed to the initiative’s objectives. Partners, some of whom were represented at today’s media event at the Forum, include: the OCP Foundation, CBI, HP-CDG, ATOS, IBM, EOH/BC Skills, Progesto, Corporate Software, ValuePass Consulting, Conso’System Consulting, as well as Injaz Al-Maghrib and Blue Storm.
OCP Foundation the charity arm of OCP Group, have sponsored the infrastructure for the local Skills for Africa training in terms of providing facilities, equipment and hardware. “Skills development and the promotion of education are core mandates for the OCP Foundation,“commented Mr Amine Alaoui, EVP OCP Foundation. “This partnership with SAP is an exciting opportunity to drive both the skills and job creation agenda forward in Morocco.”
Also supportive of the initiative is Injaz- Al-Mahgrib who actively support the efforts through their strategic relationships with educational institutions and who played an important role in promoting the recruitment of relevant applicants.
The Skills for Africa training that commenced yesterday in Rabat comprises a hybrid approach of classroom and e-learning and will be run free-of-charge to 39 carefully selected students. The course focuses on internationally recognized IT and business skills.
“SAP is committed to driving business in North Africa with the ultimate objective of improving people’s lives through the deployment of innovative industry-specific software solutions. This is not possible without developing the right skills and creating the right jobs in the communities in which we do business,” added Pfungwa Serima, CEO SAP Africa. “The fact that all 39 of the first Moroccan Skills for Africa class have guaranteed internships – provided they complete their studies successfully – is a fantastic testament to the power of the partner ecosystem. I salute our local partners for their commitment and passion in paving the way for real career opportunities for dedicated young North African professionals.”
The Moroccan launch of the Skills for Africa initiative today follows the successful Kenyan graduating classes of 2013 and 2014, and further developments are expected later this year elsewhere in Southern Africa.