The latest cohort of candidates for the SAP Young Professionals Program (as part of Skills for Africa) has graduated, providing a welcome boost to the digital transformation efforts of organisations in East and West Africa. A total of 26 candidates graduated, hailing from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana.
Amin Meqdadi, Head of Mid-Market for Africa at SAP, says the graduates will bring invaluable work-ready tech skills to organisations in the region 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. The SAP Young Professionals Program 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 reveal an acute tech skills shortage across East and West Africa, with only 3% of organisations saying they don’t expect to have any tech skills challenges in 2023. Ninety-three 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.
To support customers and partners and the broader African tech ecosystem, SAP offers several skills development initiatives under the umbrella of Skills for Africa, including the SAP Young Professionals Program and the SAP Dual Study Program as well as a newly launched program called SAP Digital Skills Training Program running for the first time in South Africa this year. T
hese initiatives create a quadruple-win situation: local unemployed or underemployed youth find suitable job opportunities, SAP customers and partners find brilliant talent for their digitalisation efforts, countries benefit from the digital skills created, and SAP enhances the strength of its ecosystem.
The 2-3 months SAP Young Professionals 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 are nationals of the country where the program is offered.
Since its launch in 2012, the SAP Young Professionals Program has trained and graduated more than 4000 talents across 41 countries globally, including more than 1900 graduates from 22 African countries.
The latest cohort of 26 graduates completed certificate courses in SAP Ariba Sourcing to boost digital transformation in procurement and fast track the establishment of digital supply chains, as well as SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud, a core component of the intelligent enterprise and a leading driver of Africa’s rapid digital transformation.
Participants graduate from the program as SAP Associate Consultants, with a competitive edge in the job market. This makes every graduate of the program immediately employable in a range of public and private sector companies.
Henok Petros, a graduate from Ethiopia who formed part of the latest cohort, says the program was good for his SAP career. “The SAP Young Professionals Program has helped me gain a different insight and helped me see my 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.”
According to graduate Nardos Yilma, the program has equipped her with skills that enable her to have a lasting impact in her community and the world at large. “By participating in the SAP Young Professionals Program, I was able to gain a fresh perspective on SAP’s business and technological solutions. 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.”
The next cohort of SAP Young Professionals Program with candidates from South Africa will commence their training at the end of March and will graduate in June.