SAP to Launch Skills for Africa Programme
NAIROBI---Enterprise software maker SAP has announced plans to launch its widely successful SAP Skills for Africa Programme in Kenya to spur the country’s IT skills capacity and further enhance technological innovation.
Speaking at the SAP Forum Nairobi at the Safari Park hotel, SAP East Africa managing director Mr Andrew Waititu said that The SAP Skills for Africa Program is a partnership between SAP and its partners.
“The program seeks to substantially improve the employability of young, bright recent university graduates with a skew towards those from under-privileged backgrounds. We are also in an advanced phase to establish a program to sponsor students to become certified SAP Consultants in partnership with local universities,” said Mr Waititu, adding that the program would be launched in the next two months.
The one-day SAP Forum Nairobi featured focused presentations and demos that offered delegates an in-depth look into the latest technologies, SAP applications and best practices as well as updates on SAP's global strategy combined with local priorities.
Reaffirming the firm’s customer, Waititu stated that SAP’s East Africa perspective is all about customers.
“The East Africa perspective is all about what we are doing locally to empower our customers. Our investment in the region grew by over 40 per cent in the last one year with partners increasing to six and partners are key in driving innovation,” he said.
SAP Africa chief executive Mr Pfungwa Serima said that the SAP Kenya office – which serves the entire East Africa region - is one of its four business hubs in the continent.
“The plan to launch the Skills for Africa Program in Kenya is confirmation that Africa is ready for new IT solutions,” said Mr Serima, adding that SAP aims to provide solutions to multinationals as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region.
Addressing the Forum, Kenya’s information and communications permanent secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo said that that software development will play a key role in different sectors of the Kenyan economy, giving the example of Fablab - a research and development space based within the University of Nairobi where innovators engage in rapid prototyping on future products.
“You need to emulate other software developers and assist SMEs to move to other platforms since SAP is involved very deeply in application development. SAP can also aim for instance to supply standardized products to Africa and the world as a whole,” stated Dr Ndemo.
The Forum also featured SAP customer testimonial success stories from Mr Vimal Shah Bidco Group CEO and Dr Kipkurui Langat, the CEO of New KCC.
Other agenda topics included Solutions for Public Sector (Central and Local Government); Business Solutions for Financial Services (Banking and Insurance Solutions for Manufacturing and Distribution Industries) and Business Solutions for Utility providers (electricity, water, waste etc) and Business Solutions for Smaller Enterprises.