SAP Africa has announced its participation in a partnership with the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Titled “Digital Africa”, the project is focused on how new technologies and innovative solutions will determine the future for Africa.
The partnership sees digitization as pivotal to development and growth and BMZ is joining forces with the private sector to support the development and sustainable management of Africa’s digital potential. The strategic partnership also intends to concentrate on German core competencies in the ICT sector.
The private sector in Africa faces numerous challenges and for German businesses – especially small and medium-sized enterprises – many African countries are largely uncharted territory. For this reason, SAP is particularly pleased to be a strategic partner to BMZ.
At a recent Berlin-based workshop, SAP’s Skills for Africa initiative was introduced to international participants, which was met with interest. SAP is a long-term strategic partner with BMZ and is therefore pleased to not only continue the relationship, but also to take it to the next level.
“Digitization offers huge potential for making headway on Africa’s sustainable development, which can benefit all sides – including German and European enterprises. This is why today we are launching our new Strategic Partnership for a Digital Africa,” said German State Secretary, Friedrich Kitschelt, on the occasion of the BMZ Africa-Day in Berlin on 11 May.
The primary objective of the partnership with BMZ is to effectively support and underpin private investment and responsible business in the ICT sector through development cooperation measures. This will enable the sustainable management of economic results and deliver positive economic, social and environmental benefits for the African population.
According to Günter Nooke, Personal Representative of the German Chancellor for Africa in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Strategic Partnership for a Digital Africa can deliver on both accounts. To achieve this, the strategic partnership has to be sustainable and well prepared. “The global expertise and market success of German and European IT (and IT-related) companies will play a central role in this process. We are now calling on the private sector to follow the example of SAP to join the ongoing planning process of the Strategic Partnership for a Digital Africa and to support its successful execution.”
Empowering African Government for Success
Aligned with this vision for digitiZation, is SAP Africa’s engagement model with governments across the continent. The pressures under which government in Africa are operating are plentiful:
- Across Africa, enormous number of citizen population are migrating from rural settlements toward urban centres to search for employment and secure some quality of life for their families. This massive urban migration brings with it a strain on already limited public resources, with governments have to deliver improved citizen services and provide a safe environment.
- Leveraging the multiple natural resources in Africa clearly stimulate the economy through exports. As systems develop, this translates into governments being put under pressure to deliver better economies of scale and more prudent financial Management.
- Half of Africa’s population is aged under 20 years and 40% of the population lives in cities. Diversified economic activity to stimulate job creation is a major priority for all governments. It is predicted that the number of countries (in Africa) with an average income > 1, 000 USD P/A, will grow from less than a half of Africa’s states to more than three quarters. Employability and bridging the gap between jobs and candidates is critical, as well as providing quality education on every level.
- The Ibrahim Index of African Good Government shows that the delivery of public goods and services, the rule of law, the opportunity for participation in government, the protection of human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and potential for human development on the continent is improving. Topics like transparent public budgets and their execution, effective revenue collection as well as the fight against fraud, waste and abuse are a critical fundament to this process of further improvement are ones with which all African governments are grappling.
- Sub-Saharan Africa faces severe asymmetric security threats from various violent groups. Effective and efficient mitigation and response to these threats are crucial to the prosperous and sustainable development of African countries and their citizens.
In response to these significant topics, key to SAP Africa’s engagement model on the continent, and to ensure that investment of up to $500-million over a seven year period is effective, is the enablement of government transformation and modernization across the continent.
With the goal of enabling the continent to develop to its full potential through innovative technology solutions based on collaborative partnerships, SAP Africa is focusing on; partnering with countries across the continent to enable transparent and citizen-oriented government, helping enable equitable quality education for all along with customers and the far-reaching African partner ecosystem. “We are committed to empowering African governments for success and to this exciting initiative with the BMZ and we look forward to exploring ways in which to realize our mutual vision.” commented Pfungwa Serima, SAP Africa CEO.