10 Dec

ICT Ministry Permanent Secretary Joseph Tiampati ole Musuni addresses the audience during SAP Skills for Africa Graduation ceremony held at the University of Nairobi.

SAP Skills for Africa has today graduated 63 of their second lot of students who from October this year were undergoing an eight-week special training in Financial Accounting and Business Intelligence.

Sponsored by ICT Authority and SAP East Africa,  the event held at the University of Nairobi was graced by the Information Communication and Technology Principal Secretary, Mr. Joseph  Tiampati ole Musuni. Other prominent figures at the ceremony were Mr. Andrew Waititu, Managing Director SAP East Africa, Ms Eunice Kariuki from ICT Authority as well as Dr. Tony Omwansa, C4DLab’s Coordinator.

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Some of the officials in attendance during the second SAP graduation event.

SAP Skills for Africa programme was launched in late 2012 by SAP East Africa and ICT Authority to offer fully sponsored SAP certification training meant to “bridge the gap between demand for skills and demand for meaningful jobs”. The team also boasts of having previously graduated 52 of its students who had applied through the ICT Authority’s webiste.

While held to celebrate the achievements of all stakeholders, the event was also an opportunity for all to think the way forward as regards the challenges affecting the development of ICT industry in Kenya. ICT Principal Secretary Mr. Tiampati ole Musuni would highlight such problems:

“While the government and the private sectors have invested heavily in ICT infrastructure, there has been comparatively very little investment in human resources required  to design, develop and operate this infrastructure and its associated applications and systems.  Again, the increasing sophistication of ICT systems and applications: high end skills are required in oder to facilitate economic growth and help us achieve the vision of the ICT Master Plan. Further, the Kenyan ICT industry has a preconceived view of ICT graduates that they lack relevant technical skills, communication , analytic and critical thinking skills…. Additionally, lack of structured ICT  professional development is especially acute in government and many not-for-profit sector institutions such as universities, schools and hospitals. This is partly because of inability of these institutions to attract and retain high-end ICT professionals. Finally, the available professional certification programmes for graduates are too expensive for Kenya ICT professionals particularly in the public sector and for government ICT staff.”

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SAP Skills for Africa graduates listen to key speeches during the function.

Meanwhile, it was time SAP Skills for Africa was celebrating more as 80 per cent of its first graduates were already absorbed in big companies and organizations, prompting the ICT PS to make the following appeal:

“Indeed the programme is creating jobs for our youth. We need more institutions to absorb graduates from this programme. May I take this opportunity to encourage other system vendors such as CISCO,  IBM,  Microsoft, Oracle, among others to emulate the iniative by SAP in order to fastrack the development of ICT skills in Kenya and for value addition. Professionals should also play their part by considering passing on their skills and knowledge to the younger generation,” concluded ole Musuni.

DSC_0235Excited graduands crown the day with a group photo. 

 

About the writer

Moses Omusolo is the Social Media Manager, C4DLab.