Accenture Commits $200m to Education, ICT Skills Training

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Emma Okonji

Accenture is committing more than $200 million over the next three years to help equip disadvantaged people with job skills for the digital age.

The initiative, according to the company, is to support its vision to improve the way the world works and lives.
Announcing the initiative, Accenture’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pierre Nanterme, said: “As a technology leader, we have an obligation to apply new scalable technology solutions to help solve complex societal challenges.

“Our investments will continue to empower Accenture to produce socially minded partnerships and programs that will have a profound impact on the lives of millions of people throughout the world, now and for the future.”

Accenture’s commitment will help support Skills to Succeed, Tech4Good, Accenture Development Partnerships and related Accenture initiatives, he said, adding that the company’s Skills to Succeed initiative advances employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, leveraging digital innovation to help close employment gaps at scale. Together with a network of nonprofits and other ecosystem partners, Accenture has since 2010 equipped more than 2.2 million people with the skills to get a job or build a business, with a goal of equipping a total of more than three million people by 2020, Nanterme said.

In South Africa, Skills to Succeed has already equipped thousands of people with job skills since 2015, with the vast majority of them gaining employment in digital, software development and business process services. One Skills to Succeed programme in the country is CE3 in rural KwaZulu-Natal, which serves as a catalyst for local economic development. The programme strengthens existing businesses, creates employment opportunities and builds new businesses through, among other things, the provision of clean, affordable electricity.

Accenture Development Partnerships works across government, business and civil society, applying business and technology solutions to build capacity and strengthen programs for development organisations around the globe, including Nigeria, where several initiatives have been carried out.

Accenture collaborated with a consortium of nonprofit partners and corporations in 2013 to create Emplea+, an online program that helps marginalised individuals develop technical, digital and soft skills needed for employment.

“The opportunity to improve lives requires collaboration across business, government and non-governmental organizations,” Nanterme said, adding that as leaders weigh new technologies and applications, all hands must be on deck to make them work.