By THE AFRICA BAZAAR Staff Writer
March 14, 2014
SAP has teamed up with Multimedia University of Kenya and Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to kick off the official launch of the SAP Skills for Africa training program, which will help develop technical skills in the IT industry among African students on the continent.
The six-week training program, announced in May, is set to begin next month, enrolling more than 100 students at the university’s Ongata Rongai campus.
The program has been designed to meet the needs of the complex African skills landscape and to take infrastructure into consideration to ensure ease of use and learning in challenging environments. The pilot phase for the program was successfully launched in 2012.
During a ceremony, Franck Cohen, president of SAP Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), urged the students to remain diligent and prudent and stay focused as they study to become SAP-certified graduates who are highly talented and readily absorbable in the global job market at the end of the training.
“Kenya has all the assets to become a role model and a market leader in the provision of IT enabled services to the whole continent. I want you to do your best so that at the end of this training, everyone is able to land a job not only within Kenya, but even beyond the border,” said Cohen.
With growth and the scarcity of skills on the African continent on the minds of many executives as more big corporations and small-to-mid-sized businesses extend their business footprint into Africa, this program—a first of its kind in the industry in Africa—will offer selected students across the continent the opportunity to develop world-class IT and business skills, effectively giving them an opportunity to play a role in contributing toward Africa’s future economic growth and infrastructure development.
The Skills for Africa program is aimed at developing information and communications technology (ICT) skills in Africa as part of SAP’s global mission to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. SAP’s social investment strategy is focused on promoting education and entrepreneurship.
“This can only be realized through conducting and sustaining SAP skills program. This is one of the reasons the SAP community forged a partnership with ICT Board and Multimedia University of Kenya,” he said.
The program represents the African chapter of SAP’s EMEA Workforce of the Future campaign, focused on examining European, Middle Eastern and African trends, needs and opportunities vital to the successful recruitment, retention and training of the technology industry’s workforce of the future.
In support of this effort, several other activities are underway across Europe, most notably the Academy Cube project, which helps students in the EU prepare for Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution where products will soon be expected to be able to communicate and act autonomously with one another in intelligently networked production processes.
Along with partners and customers, SAP Africa will drive the Skills for Africa program around its strategic hubs, namely South Africa, Angola, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal, to be followed by ancillary countries such as Ivory Coast and Mauritius.
Focusing initially on key industries including public and financial sectors, utilities and oil and gas, the Skills for Africa program aims to create a rich talent pool in Africa for the entire SAP ecosystem. The program is targeted at students who have been identified in collaboration with the government in each of the focus countries.
To support the ambitious rollout of the program, a 56-partner base has also been established throughout Africa to maintain momentum.
Due to the vast geographical area identified and in the interest of providing the best experience to students and a view to future employment, SAP will be closely aligned with the partner ecosystem in Africa for the rollout to help ensure a successful outcome.
Skills for Africa training will comprise a hybrid approach of classroom and e-learning. The unique self-study e-learning environment will allow students to study when and how it suits them without requiring Internet access; a key factor in many of the locations in question.
“Securing a highly skilled workforce in Africa is key to ongoing success. Not only is SAP committed to the countries in which it does business; programs of this nature make solid business sense,” said Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP Co-CEO. “SAP sees huge opportunities for Africa and the multi-million Euro investment into this program over the next five years is indicative of our commitment. Bearing in mind that the unemployment rate varies from 25.5 percent in South Africa to almost 48 percent in Senegal, there is a distinct requirement for business to help develop an appropriate skills base, especially when taking into account the enormous growth opportunity for Africa from an infrastructure perspective.”
Over the next five years, SAP plans to roll out the program to Nigeria, Senegal, Angola and South Africa. The program will target on average 100 students per year, per country, which will result in 2,500 previously unskilled students to be educated in the much sought-after SAP skills sphere.
A second phase of the rollout is planned to extend to an additional set of countries, including Mauritius and the Ivory Coast.
Upon completion of the program, all the graduates will be offered internship positions in various SAP customer stations across the country for practical skills and also for a soft landing in the job market.
China National Petroleum Completes Deal for Stake in Eni East Africa
Eni and China National Petroleum Corp. completed Eni’s sale to CNPC of a 28.57 percent stake in Eni East Africa, which owns a 70 percent interest in Area 4, located off the coast of Mozambique.
The deal was closed on the basis of a prior agreement signed by the two parties on March 14.
CNPC will acquire a stake in Eni East Africa through this deal, which equal to a 20 percent indirect participation. Eni will remain the indirect owner of the 50 percent stake owned by Eni East Africa. The remaining shares in Area 4 are held by Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos de Mozambique, Kogas and Galp Energia, each of which hold a 10 percent interest.
CNPC’s entrance into Area 4 is strategically significant for the project because of the worldwide importance of the company in the upstream and downstream sectors.
In addition, the planned activities of the Joint Study Agreement, signed between the parties in March, which focus on developing the promising shale gas block located in the Sichuan Basin in China, will continue.
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