SAP’s flagship digital skills build initiative the Young Professionals Program is celebrating its first-ever graduates from Lusophone Africa.
At a virtual graduation ceremony attended by Constantin Zelenty, Deputy Head of Mission German Embassy Angola, Cathy Smith, Managing Director SAP Africa, Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director SAP Central Africa as well as SAP customer and partner representatives, 25 young talents from Portuguese-speaking African countries officially graduated following a three-months-long program aimed at equipping young talents with key skills based on the latest SAP technologies.
Constantin Zelenty, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy Angola says: “In order for Angolan companies to grow and succeed in our modern age, they need to harness the transformative power of digital technologies along with rightly skilled talent. We hope this may be the first of many groups of graduates who can apply their expertise in service of Angola’s ambitions for the modern digital economy.”
The Young Professionals Program is an initiative offered under the umbrella of SAP Skills for Africa, and has trained more than 1460 youths across the continent since its launch in 2012. Recently, the Young Professionals Program has significantly expanded its footprint. In 2021 alone, talents from Senegal, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and, with the latest cohort, Angola and Mozambique, have graduated.
The two- to three-month program uses a unique enablement plan that includes functional and technical knowledge of SAP software, with a focus on SAP’s latest innovations. A soft skills component is included to ensure graduates can operate successfully within the organisations where they are placed and make an immediate positive impact. Candidates are typically unemployed or underemployed university graduates selected from the country where the program is offered, and graduate as SAP Associate Consultants. This gives them a competitive edge in the job market, and ensures organisations using SAP technologies have a steady stream of young talent to help drive their digital transformation efforts.
Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director for Central Africa at SAP, says the graduates will play an invaluable role in supporting SAP customers and partners as they implement their digital transformation strategies. “The past 18 months has highlighted the importance of digital technologies to how well organisations can adapt to disruption and run successfully.
As African organisations continue their efforts at building intelligent enterprise capabilities, they need access to expert digital skills. We congratulate the first-ever graduates from Lusophone Africa and look forward to seeing the impact they will have at our customer and partner businesses.”
The cohort is part of 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 part of the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation and the develoPPP program that GIZ implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).