Building Local Capacity: SAP Skills for Africa produces its first set of Graduates in Nigeria

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Peace Obi

In furtherance to its commitment to empower the workforce in local communities with a cutting edge digital skills needed to make them globally-competitive and fit to take up available jobs in their communities, SAP, a market leader in enterprise application software, after a successful three months intensive digital training and certification programme hosted its first set of 22 graduates in Nigeria at a ceremony that held in Lagos recently.
In his remarks, the Director, SAP Training and Development Institute, Mr. Johann Pretorius, disclosed that SAP Skills for Africa which already has its presence in 22 countries across the globe has produced over 600 graduates in Africa and more than 2,130 globally since its inception in 2012.
Pretorius noted that SAP provided the participants with the three months intensive digital training and certification on SAP S/4HANA Financial Accounting and SAP Activate Project Management, free of charge. Adding that the training was part of his organisation’s commitment to closing the skills gap in the African continent as well as to enable local communities to take advantage of the possibilities of exponential technologies in a fast changing world.
He said, “SAP Skills for Africa is designed to train and certify young graduates 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 the continent
Commending the graduates on the successful completion of their training programme, the Director of Training disclosed that over 1,000 applications were received, he however noted that through its rigorous selection process, only 22 applicants were admitted.
He noted that “the terrific response from local graduates point to the growing and appetite for greater exposure to some of the world’s most pervasive business applications, as well as employment opportunities that are unlocked with the acquisition of skills and certification in such applications.”
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hakeem Popoola commended the organisers, stating that SAP’s initiative is in tandem with what the Lagos State Government is doing in the area of job creation. “We have a lot of unemployed youths and this programme really fits into what the government is doing in the area of job creation.
“About five years ago, if someone with SAP skills is needed, one probably have to go out of Nigeria to get it but today, SAP is here in Nigeria proving the skills; that means that unemployed youths now have the opportunity to engage themselves in SAP and become a well-equipped workforce.”
Speaking further, Popoola said that the relevance of SAP skills is appreciated and adopted by institutions like banks, oil and gas industry, Fortune 500 companies, among others. Stating that while “most institutions prepare students for basic education in order to fit into the changing world workforce, students have to do additional training for some certain jobs, that is where SAP comes in.”
He said that in addition to the several initiatives the state has designed to produce well-equipped workforce, that Lagos State was willing to introduce SAP digital training into its tertiary institutions. “Again, I will be glad to introduce SAP to LASU as well as LASPOTECH that they can be engaged and see how this can be expanded into our tertiary institutions.
“I commend SAP for what it is doing by training our youths and making them available for jobs that are available in-country instead of exporting the jobs. This is good, not only for Lagos State but for Nigeria economy as a whole. I encourage our youths to take advantage of opportunities like this, such as Codelagos, Lagos set work.
Speaking also, a representative of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Mr. Bolarinwa Onaolapo said that, “This, actually fits into Nigerian Content Development programme where we want to increase the number of Nigerians with capacity in doing things we depended on external resources. This is one of the areas we can add value. It is one of the numerous programmes and capacity building initiatives Shell supports”, he said.

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