Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 21 - Page 10

NEWS SAP Africa drives innovation opportunities via universities SAP Africa has announced the opening of eight new SAP Next-Gen Chapter universities in Sub-Saharan Africa Second place for e4 at Ecobank Fintech Challenge T echnology specialist e4 came second in the Ecobank Fintech Challenge, hosted in Lomé, Togo. According to Andrea Tucker, R&D Head at e4, there is a lack of a fully digital onboarding solution across most banks. “Onboarding customers is notorious for its tedious nature, for both the bank and customer,” she said. “Although it is a time-consuming and expensive process, it is legislated in every country to complete a full KYC exercise on each new customer. Even though we initially developed the Virtual Identity solution for the South African market, Ecobank executives immediately recognised its viability across the continent. S AP Africa has announced the opening of eight new SAP Next-Gen Chapter universities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The main objective is to expand and drive innovation opportunities with SAP customers to help them accelerate into becoming intelligent enterprises. The following SAP Next-Gen Chapters universities are tasked with preparing the future purpose driven innovators for the SAP ecosystem and to accelerate universities across the Sub-Saharan Africa region: University of Cape Town; University of Pretoria; Cape Peninsula University of Technology; Catholic University of Central Africa; UniversitéAube Novelle; University of Botswana and University of Ibadan. SAP Next-Gen Chapters operate as lighthouse universities and multipliers of SAP Next-Gen for universities and 10 INTELLIGENTCIO its affiliated centers locations, such as University Competence Center (UCC) and Academic Competence Center (ACC). Key deliverables for the chapter universities include sharing best practices through connecting industry partners with academic thought leaders, researchers, students, startups, accelerators, tech community partners, purpose driven partners, venture firms, futurists and SAP experts to reimagine the future of industries with SAP Leonardo. “SAP Next-Gen Chapters will significantly enhance the knowledge and skills levels of participating institutions,” said Cathy Smith, Managing Director of SAP Africa. “The common pain points associated with onboarding customers are greatly reduced and the solution goes a long way in increasing financial inclusion by making digital account opening and fulfilment a reality. “The Ecobank Fintech Challenge proved invaluable to all when it came to knowledge sharing, while also gaining a deeper understanding of banking Africans. It is wonderful to see that all companies, regardless of size, have an equal opportunity to participate in our country’s economy.” Technologies such as mobile and digital platforms featured in the top three winners, while e4’s Virtual Identity has the potential to enable the company to fast-track its African strategy. “This will also contribute towards producing more relevant work-ready graduates and the next generation of digitally competent leaders who can help our customers to accelerate into becoming intelligent enterprises.”