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SAP recognized for bridging Africa digital skills gap


JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE market leader in enterprise application software, SAP, has been recognized for driving digital literacy on the continent enabling economic growth and social change through its Africa Code Week (ACW) initiative.

The company is the recipient of the Judges’ Choice Award in the Corporate Initiative Category for the MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition in recognition of its impactful digital skills development programme.

SAP was selected from more than 240 applicant organisations as recipient of the Judge’s Choice Award in the corporate category, for its fast-track and creative approach to driving economic opportunity in the digital age, rated as best-in-class.

“ACW is very close to our hearts and it was easy for the judging panel to see why,” says Claire Gillissen-Duval, SAP ACW Global Project Lead.

Founded in 2015, the initiative is Africa’s largest literacy event which aims to simplify the face of software coding for Africa’s youth.

ACW’s inaugural year saw approximately 90 000 youth, across 17 African countries, introduced to coding within a mere ten days – four times the initial goal. Taking place from October15-23, this year will see that extended to 150 000 youth across 30 countries.

SAP’s goal is to reach 5 million students over the next ten years – providing them all with job relevant coding skills.

“ACW has the power to change Africa, acting as the driving force for digital literacy across the continent and shape tomorrow’s skilled workforce,” states Gillissen-Duval.

SAP received a $25 000 award during the IIC Awards Celebration and will donate the money to the Cape Town Science Centre – a key ACW partner, to further develop the programme.
Julie Cleverdon of the Cape Town Science Centre, expressed pride to be involved in ACW.

“It has the ability to leverage far reaching change, and we are extremely thankful to SAP for its continuing commitment and support and take it to new heights,” Cleverdon said.

According to United Nations, a total of 11 million African youth will seek employment every single year, until 2020. With a shortage of education resources across the continent, the future of Africa’s youth is dire.

A McKinsey Global Survey states that at least 45 million medium skilled positions will be in demand globally by the year 2020 -many of them in Africa.

“Coding is a new language that every child deserves to be fluent in. By empowering Africa’s youth through the provision of digital skills, ACW has the potential to change the face of the continent,” concludes Gillissen-Duval.

CAJ News

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