JOHANNESBURG– YOUTH from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Africa have received a major boost after SAP, the enterprise application software firm, partnered Simplon and the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre to offer an historic innovative new programme focused on web development and entrepreneurship training.
The Simplon Lab, which has been launched in Johannesburg, is aimed at advancing youth skills development among graduate students as well as open the door to a career in web development for these students and other digital entrepreneurs as well as help improve their employability.
The initiative is said to be the first of its kind in South Africa.
Mehmood Khan, Chief Operations Officer at SAP Africa, said the development of technical skills among South Africa’s youth is critical to the country’s future.
He said IT held huge potential for promoting social inclusion, but that was only possible if they fought against the digital divide among Africa’s youth.
“This training initiative will see SAP experts mentoring talented young graduates, thereby encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship and technical excellence.
“The training will focus primarily on web development and the creation of digital start-ups, and students will have an opportunity to earn an income during the course,” Khan said.
Andrei Vladescu-Olt, co-Founder of Simplon, said his organisation was committed to positioning IT as the sector of the future and creating an environment that stimulated social innovation and encouraged diversity.
Simplon empowers people through technology by teaching them how to code to solve problems.
“Through this new partnership, we will be able to nurture the expression and realisation of creative ideas by those who would not necessarily have had the competencies or the environment to do so,” said Vladescu-Olt.
David Kramer, Chief Executive Officer at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, expressed pride to be the local partner.
Sci-Bono is a world-class science centre that supports maths, science and technology education.
“We look forward to facilitating the training and development of a new generation of motivated developers and business people.
“We believe this project will unlock new opportunities for our youth in the exciting IT sector,” said Kramer.
The Simplon Lab initiative links up to Africa Code Week, an initiative
spearheaded by the SAP Corporate Social Responsibility Europe Middle East and Africa division, to spread digital literacy all over Africa.
– CAJ News