SAP Skills for Africa kicks off with the Francophone Africa leg of the student orientation taking place in Ben Gerier, Morocco.

The 2017 iteration of the continent-wide initiative aims once again to train and certify young unemployed graduates in the SAP software suite of business systems and applications and place them in actual positions at partner organisations, the company said.

The training schedule will take place over a three-month period and is sponsored by regional partners, including the OCP Foundation, the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University and Universap, the hardware sponsor of this programme.

In a press statement by SAP, Meena Confait, Head of Skills for Africa at SAP Africa, said the Francophone Africa leg of this year’s initiative will see some key changes. “In our first year of the Francophone Africa leg of Skills for Africa in 2015, we celebrated the successful graduation of 39 students who all became certified SAP Associate consultants, securing placements with our Moroccan partners and customers and even some joining the SAP Francophone team.”

Meena further said, “This year, our 64 will for the first time stay on-site at the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic, during the training schedule. To drive SAP Africa’s vision for a diverse and inclusive workplace, we are also hugely proud to announce that female participation in the 2017 programme reaches more than 60%.

SAP Skills for Africa has grown and matured over its short lifespan, bringing growing numbers of graduates, partners and customers together to help promote economic growth and develop substantive ICT skills that change lives in a sustainable manner, the company said, adding that in January, the initiative was awarded the Hasso Founders’ Award, the highest employee recognition at SAP awarded annually by the CEO to an individual or a team from around the globe.

SAP Africa Managing Director, Francophone Africa, Frederic Alran, said: “By 2040, Africa will have a working age population of more than 1.1 billion, creating the world’s largest and fastest growing talent pool. With a dire shortage of technical skills worldwide, Africa is likely to play a critical role in driving digital transformation around the world. We are proud to work with our partners and customers to play our part in helping address this challenge.”

Francophone Africa partners and customers who will take the successful graduates into internships after they successfully complete their training include Cevital, ValuePass, CosumarUniversapProgestoBC SkillsEOHAilink Telecommunications as well as the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University.

Using a hybrid approach of classroom and e-learning training, with hands-on simulated exercises, the three month programme will afford the participants the opportunity to develop world-class IT skills. The training will comprise seven classes and modules and SAP flagship in-memory technology, SAP S/4HANA, will be introduced as part of the training for the first time.

The course also incorporates essential business and soft skills training, with a formal SAP Academy accreditation resulting in internationally recognised associate SAP consultant certification. The programme is fully-sponsored with no cost to qualifying university graduates.

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