SAP is opening its new office in Morocco today. I am very proud that this hub in Casablanca will be our new headquarter for French-speaking Africa.
Our initial journey in Morocco started already 14 years ago. Since then we have grown to several hundred customers across a variety of industries supported by a strong Francophone partner ecosystems. Today’s office opening in Casablanca is yet another milestone as it comes at a time when we are actively expanding our reach across the region and bolstering our collaborative partnerships with like-minded businesses, partners and the government.
The key to be and remain successful in emerging and volatile markets is to closely listen to customers, to apply innovation in a disruptive way and to diversify the portfolio. I remember talking to an African-based insurance company some time ago who requested a new billing system. I told them right away, that we have everything that they need. Well, they had just bought one million Apple Watches and were planning to set up an insurance scheme based on the kilometers an insurance holder runs per month. Therefore, they needed a different type of billing system – a system that reflects this particular model.
I am convinced that the current rather moderate economic growth rates bring a unique opportunity to Francophone Africa to structure and plan for the cycles of accelerated growth that will be coming. Therefore, today is more than just an office opening for SAP. It is about SAP investing and supporting the region to create new job, industries and skills.
SAP Skills for Africa, a skills development and job creation initiative aimed at developing ICT and business skills, and Africa Code Week, an initiative from SAP and partners to teach software-coding skills free of charge to Africa’s youth, are two great examples of successful skills development and job creation programs. In 2015, Morocco was the top-performing country at Africa Code Week training more than 33.500 young people out of the 88.000 children that were trained across the entire continent. As such, I am looking forward to this year’s Africa Code Week taking place from October 15 to 23 and spreading even more digital literacy across the country.