The ICT Authority and SAP have said they will offer $6000 to unemployed recent university graduates in Kenya for an 8-week program Nairobi’s Techno Brain.
The deal aim to equip 100 young Kenyans with high – end ICT skills by the end of the year and help them access internships and jobs after that. The program dubbed SAP Skills for Africa targets recent graduates interested in finance and business development and is in accordance with the ICT Master Plan 2014-17 which recommends developing and sustaining talent as well as nurturing an ICT ready workforce to meet the needs of the industry.
Though the move is brilliant, an educational analyst thinks the US$6000 per student is inflated and could have been used to pay for a masters program for more than two students in a local university.
“Spending $6000 on one student in Nairobi for an 8 week course sounds like an insult. Whether it’s SAP or the government of Kenya spending this money, people will need an explanation,” she said, asking to remain anonymous.
But Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT, Dr Fred Matiang’i said the iniative is neccessary.
“We churn out thousands of graduates into the market, but they face a challenge in getting jobs as they do not match the skill set that employers are looking for. We are tackling this head on and our goal is to partner with the private sector to increase the capacity of our people in ICT,” says the Cabinet Secretary.
SAP and the ICT Authority signed a 3-year partnership agreement that will collaborate on innovation and incubation programs; general ICT awareness and literacy; skills development and internship programs; best practice sharing on process improvement and joint research initiatives.
In August, SAP announced a 500 million initiative for capacity building in Africa. SAP promised to invest over $500 million in a seven-year initiative to promote local African talent and drive sustainable innovation and growth continentwide. The US $500 million, which will be invested through 2020, will help establish the African region as one of the company’s top-five growth markets globally. This partnership, seems to be part of is entire plan for the continent.
“A key component of SAP’s Africa Growth Plan, is the training of 8,000-10,000 new consultants in Africa in the next seven years. These skilled people, in the main economic hubs of Africa, will enable governments and private sector to improve the way they do business across the continent and ultimately the World – driving prosperity through job creation,” says Mr. Andrew Waititu, Managing Director, SAP East Africa.
The successful candidates will go through a fully sponsored training program, certification and internship placements. The scholarships are targeting candidates that graduated between December 2011 and December 2014. The internships will run in the first quarter of 2015.
In 2013, the program graduated 56 successful students, most of who have been matched up with jobs.