The first group of 52 students were today presented with SAP Certification at a graduation ceremony held at Multi-Media University. The fully-sponsored programme that kicked off late July is aimed at bridging the demand for specialised ICT skills in Kenyan companies and increasing the youth employability.
The students who passed the certification have consequently been matched with job internships with SAP customers and partners such as Bidco, Mumias Sugar Company, Kenya Airports Authority among others. The programme is sponsored by Kenyan Ministry of Information Communications & Technology – through the ICT Authority – and partners SAP, and Multi Media University.
The 52 were awarded after going through an 8-week long intensive SAP module training by expert trainers from Africa. The training was followed by certification exams in four SAP modules. A total of 81 young graduates embarked on the training in July after they were selected in a competitive process that saw more than 1000 applications across the country. The candidates, who are all recent graduates, scored upper second class and were trained on a course outline that covered technology, business, finance, logistics as well as critical soft business skills.
The Skills for Africa programme idea was conceived in Kenya by ICT Authority and SAP East Africa and was officially launched in September 2012. Bright students from disadvantage backgrounds and women are considered for the training.
“SAP Africa recognises recognises that addressing education and skills training is one of the best ways to deal not only with skills shortages facing the technology industry, but also help address Africa’s chronic youth unemployment issue,” said SAP Africa Chief Executive Officer Pfungwa Serima. “We recently signed a collaboration agreement with the World Bank to amplify our efforts to develop world-class IT and business skills, and it’s great to see this first crop of young Kenyans successfully coming through the SAP Skills for Africa certification process.”
SAP has committed to support the program that cost US $ 19,000 per student by training at least 100 graduates each year for the next 4 years. The company has subsequently rolled out the programme in a number of African countries.
“We are delighted to have graduated the first Skills for Africa graduates. As Multi-Media University we are committed to ensuring excellence in technology skills. We do this by equipping our students with the most up-to-date information,” said Prof Walter Oyawa, Multi Media University, Vice Chancellor.
Skills for Africa has been formulated and integrated within the Kenya ICT framework under ICT Authority’s Chipuka project which seeks to create a model certification that will be accepted by employers as the minimum standards in software engineering.