NAIROBI, Kenya – The Young Professional Program, SAP’s flagship digital skills build initiative, has welcomed the graduation of 27 SAP Associate Consultants in East Africa following their successful completion of an all-virtual training program.
After switching to a fully virtual delivery in light of COVID-19, opportunities were created for candidates from more countries to participate in the SAP Young Professional Program across the African continent. The latest group of graduates from East Africa included candidates from Kenya and Ethiopia, as well as giving candidates in Uganda and Tanzania their first opportunity to receive SAP training and certification as part of the program.
Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, says the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across the continent, creating greater need for digital skills. “Organisations across the continent continue to adapt to a world reshaped by the pandemic, fast-tracking their digital transformation journeys in an effort to maintain business productivity and drive innovation. It is vital to us that our customers and partners have access to the depth of SAP skills they need to thrive. This latest cohort of graduates will play an important role supporting organisations across the East African region.”
With renewed focus on regional and pan-African cooperation through initiatives such as the newly-launched Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement and the East Africa Community, African countries and their citizens have the opportunity to collaborate like never before.
By hosting all training in a multi-country, all-virtual environment, the SAP Young Professional Program is playing a role by helping foster greater cross-cultural collaboration between candidates that would normally not have the opportunity to work together.
Eva Sang, a graduate hailing from Kenya, says: “The collaboration and sharing of ideas across boundaries not only enriched the learning experience, we gained valuable insights about each other’s countries and culture. It also enabled us to create strong professional and personal networks in the region, that would come in handy during international assignments.”
For Estifanos Alemseged, a graduate from Ethiopia, the Young Professional Program was an empowering experience. “Applying for the program was one of the best decisions I made in my life. It has given me a ticket to land and explore an outstanding career path. At this moment I’m confident and excited to contribute to the digital transformation of my country and region.”
Ugandan graduate Natasha Nkurunziza says the program helped her discover her capabilities. “I loved both the Business Process Integration course and SAP Activate Manager because it gave me an overview of what SAP S/4 HANA entails and how to deliver projects with SAP Best Practices, thus giving me a chance to figure out what I would like to major in from an informed point of view.”
Since its inception in 2012, the SAP Young Professional Program, an initiative under SAP Skills for Africa, has trained more than 3150 talents across 31 countries, including more than 1390 in Africa. “The two- to three-month program covers SAP software technical and functional knowledge and certification, with a key focus on the latest SAP innovations. Soft and future skills trainings ensure graduates can make an immediate impact in the organisations they work for after graduation”, explains Marita Mitschein, Managing Director of the SAP Training and Development Institute and Senior Vice President Digital Skills at SAP Southern Europe, Africa and Middle East, who launched the program in 2012.
The cohort in East Africa is part of a collaboration between SAP and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH with the aim to jointly create 450 jobs for highly-qualified personnel in the IT sector in ten African countries over the course of three years. The cooperation project is supported by the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, which operates under the brand Invest for Jobs, and the develoPPP.de program that GIZ implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).