By Emma Okonji
SAP Skills for Africa recently hosted its first set of graduates in Nigeria at a ceremony held in Lagos.
The event was to celebrate 22 persons that graduated from its three-month intensive digital training and certification programme based on SAP S/4HANA Financial Accounting and SAP Activate Project Management.
Speaking at the ceremony, SAP Africa’s Managing Director for West Africa, Pedro Guerreiro, stressed the need for all stakeholders to work together in addressing the country’s digital skills divide.
“SAP Africa’s partnership approach prioritises the facilitation of digital transformation to empower local communities with the skills and tools they need to build bright futures in this exponential era.
“The terrific response from local graduates point to a growing need and appetite for greater exposure to some of the world’s most pervasive business applications, as well as the employment opportunities that are unlocked with the acquisition of skills and certification in such applications.” Guerreiro said.
He explained that SAP Skills for Africa was designed to train and certify young students with the aim of providing public and private sector organisations with critical digital skills to drive digital transformation and growth in key economic hubs across the continent.
According to him, “The program is part of SAP’s ongoing commitment to closing the skills gap and runs beyond Africa, in a total of 22 countries across the globe, as SAP’s Young Professional Program. Globally, the programme has trained more than 2130 graduates since its inception in 2012.”
The Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Fahm, said technology remained a key driver of efficiency in any successful organisation, saying SAP Africa’s resolve to be at the forefront of bridging the digital divide in Nigeria was commendable.
“SAP Skills for Africa offers great synergies with our broader government-led efforts to drive digital transformation and establish globally-competitive research facilities for the promotion of innovation, research and development in science and ICT, as well as promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills development.
“The scope of government efforts necessitates the establishment of effective public-private partnerships to ensure effective resource management, expertise utilisation, and the provision of high-quality and timely services,” Fahm said.
He called on private sector partnership to drive sustainable digital skills development in the communities in which they operate to ensure a collaborative building of a bright future for all Nigerian citizens in the digital age.
“Building a great digital workforce is beneficial not only to the private sector but to the entire nation, especially as our country and the continent as a whole makes strides toward becoming active players in the future economy – an economy that is likely to be dominated by digital skills and technologies,” Fahm added.