Around one hundred young people will have the opportunity to receive data analytics training, thanks to a partnership between the MTN Group and SAS Training, Courses & Classes. Eight MTN operating companies have assigned learners to participate in the training that the Group is providing through this partnership.

“This initiative is part of the work of the broader MTN Skills Academy to equip young people with the skills that are in high demand, in turn making them more employable,” says MTN Group Senior Vice President for Markets Ebenezer Asante, adding that MTN is committed to closing the skills gap and contributing to youth empowerment wherever it operates.

Polaris Market Research puts the 2021 value of the global data science platform market at $95bn and expects it to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 27% through to 2030, driven by the increasing data volumes being generated by organisations.

“For Africa to realise its full potential, we need to address the lack of skills funding,” says Asante. “Africa has the largest and fastest-growing youth population in the world. While this holds tremendous development promise, youth unemployment statistics remain a cause for major concern. It is only by investing in developing the right skills that we are going to overcome this challenge.”

Essie Mokgonyana, SAS Country Manager & Sales Director for South Africa, says: “We are committed to supporting public and private organisations across Africa adopt cloud platforms to tap into the full potential of their analytic capabilities and resources to accelerate innovation and higher operational efficiencies. And key to this support is being a part of the change; to create and sustain skills-based training programmes that not only meet industries’ needs for critical data science skills while offering the youth of today opportunities to access gainful professional advancement and employment tomorrow but lay the path for future talent pipelines. We are exceptionally proud to partner with MTN Group on this programme that bodes enormous potential for all parties involved.”

The training initiative consists of a six-week programme, the first part of which is self-paced and the second contains live instructor-led courses.

“During this programme all participants will have full access to SAS Skill Builder for Students, which includes a repository of resources to help participants learn SAS Data Science skills; from free online courses for certification purposes to exam preparation materials, and practical case studies where participants can learn more about how SAS software solutions are used in the industries they’re interested in and for their career advancement,” says Adesh Nathalal, Education Manager at SAS in South Africa.

After the initial six-week programme, half the participants will undergo further training with MTN’s in-house data analytics academy.

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