When the coronavirus pandemic spread in early 2020, economies around the world closed down and most people were relegated to remote work.
But for young African professionals taking part in the latest AFRIKA KOMMT! programme, the pandemic brought the additional challenge of being in a foreign country and taking part in a highly competitive programme.
According to Ilka Wiskemann, SAP Global HR Business Partner, participants in the programme had to contend with the disruption of a global pandemic.
“This year’s participants showcased their ability to be agile and flexible in the face of immense disruption. The skills, tools and resources each participant developed over the past year was invaluable as they rose to the challenge brought by COVID-19,” explained Wiskemann.
AFRIKA KOMMT! is a joint training initiative for young professionals from Africa founded in Germany in 2008. The programme trains young future leaders from Africa on-site at up to 19 leading German companies. The participating companies bear all costs of the programme and provide scholarships that cover the living expenses of all participants.
A total of 47 candidates participated in the latest programme, hailing from countries including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. SAP chose eight candidates from this year’s talent pool.
“The quality of applicants is increasing every year,” added Wiskemann. “It’s incredible to see the talent that we can hire through the programme. For the first time, we also had more female candidates than male ones, with very strong female leadership potential in this year’s contingent. In a really positive sign, SAP has retained the skills of 88 per cent of this year’s participants, and outstanding achievement considering the disruptive impact of the pandemic.”
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