SAP Africa explore technology partnerships at 2014 African Development Bank’s Annual Meeting to help drive African innovation agenda
Representatives from SAP are today participating in a panel discussion on Africa at the annual meeting of the African Development Bank in Rwanda. The theme of the discussion will focus on entrepreneurship and job growth, SMEs and fostering innovation in Africa, with SAP elaborating on the strong stories it has to tell on each of these areas of focus. Other panellists include – amongst others - the Ministers of Finance from Uganda, Mali and Zambia.
In particular, the panel will focus on entrepreneurship and job growth within the small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and using innovation to aid and enable the development of such SMEs in the East Africa Region.
"This panel discussion ties in with the Starter Africa programme, which has been designed to address three pillars, namely:
- Capacity building of entrepreneurs;
- Visibility or promotion of six selected candidates; and
- Promotion of entrepreneurship via the Starter Tour.
The programme will follow six new "starters", candidates via a TV series on VoxAfrica TV, which will enable viewers to watch and learn as these candidates are coached and mentored by business leaders. It is the hope that these shows will serve to inspire other entrepreneurs and SMEs across the region.
"It’s no secret; there is an unbelievably high unemployment rate across the continent," said Alexander Meyer, Vice President, Global Business Development at SAP, who will be leading the conversation, and expanded on these statistics: 48% in Senegal, 42% in Kenya, 25% in South Africa and 24% in Nigeria. "The 500 million Africans currently of working age are projected to exceed 1.1 billion by 2040, more than India or China," he said. "Over the past decade, the IT sector has proven to be the major economic driver in sub-Saharan Africa, with an annual compounded growth rate of 40%. This is because it is a cross-cutting tool that enables sectors as diverse as agriculture, healthcare, power, water and governance. However, while a critical driver for growth, there is a universal shortage of skilled IT workers - and SAP Africa is going to change this."
Through focus, collaboration and commitment from partners, to support the African Development Bank’s vision, SAP intends to train 3 000 students for ICT employment in Africa over the next five years, contributing closing the current and projected unemployment gap.
With extensive experience in creating technology solutions that have helped many young students and entrepreneurs across Africa, and a focussed investment in supporting SME growth in Africa, SAP Africa is eager to continue partnering with international funding institutions on the continent. A case in point is the recent Skills for Africa partnership with the World Bank, which sees SAP and the World Bank jointly promoting skills training linked to real jobs.
As part of its Skills for Africa campaign, SAP works with key ICT institutions to cultivate a collaborative ICT Skills Training initiative that leverages leading public and private sector players to accelerate the region’s growth, delivering good ICT jobs, contributing to investment in and growth of the private ICT sector, and making possible delivery of more efficient and transparent public services. SAP is making a substantial commitment of resources including financial, curricula, ICT sector expertise, and knowledge of public and private sector skills needs to build a technology-driven Africa.
And, in October last year, SAP and the World Bank signed an MOU, which sees the two entities jointly promoting skills training that is linked to jobs. This initiative will target populations typically underrepresented in the IT sector such as women and the rural poor.
As one of the most important drivers of growth in economies across Sub Saharan Africa, accounting for up to 90% of all businesses in these markets, the SME is a key focus area for the company.
"More than 80 per cent of SAP’s 176,000 global customers are SMEs, 90 per cent of which are in the lower middle and small enterprise markets," said Meyer. Business software solutions are invaluable tools to help SMEs remain lean and efficient companies while supporting business growth with quick and accurate decision making and SAP is introducing alternative business software deployment, packaging and licensing options such as software-as-a-service, cloud computing and pre-built applications to guide them in their growth.
"Effective innovation for Africa must be developed in Africa, preferably by Africans," said Meyer. "SAP’s research centre in Pretoria, its growing ecosystem of local SME partners, distributors and clients, and its collaboration with key universities, have created an ecosystem of shared innovation that will bring about tangible change in Africa."
For more information, visit the SAP Newsroom.
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 253,500 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "should" and "will" and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
2014 SAP AG. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and other countries. Please see http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx#trademark for additional trademark information and notices.
Note to editors:
To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV.
For more information, visit the SAP Newsroom.
Follow SAP Africa on Twitter at @SAPAfrica
For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:
SAP Africa (within SA): 0800 981334
SAP Africa (outside SA): +27 11 235 6045
Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24
United States Only: 1 (800) 872-1SAP (1-800-872-1727)
For more information, press only:
Antonia Stafford Ashton, SAP Africa, +27 (21) 528 1700. email@example.com. CAT
Andrea Slater, FleishmanHillard, +27 (11) 548-2000, firstname.lastname@example.org