Kick-off meeting in Pretoria to mark the partnership between the University of Pretoria and the ESEFA programme

10:00 Uhr

Responsible person: Patrick Wirz

UP Kick-OffOn 02 February 2014, the Hatfield Campus in Pretoria was the venue of the formal beginnings of a partnership between the University of Pretoria (UP) and the ESEFA (Enterprise Systems Education for Africa) programme.

This event, hosted by the Faculty of Engineering, Build Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) at UP, was held to celebrate the newly formed partnership and the start-up of the first ESEFA Open Distance Learning Centre (ODLC) in Africa. Representatives of ESEFA, SAP AG and DEG, as well as academics, representatives of the German Consulate and the African press met to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Following the welcome address by Professor Roelf Sandenbergh, Dean of EBIT, Professor Alta van der Merwe, Head of the Department of Informatics, and Dr. Olufemi Adetunji from the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, provided an overview of the core aspects of the ESEFA partnership. The kick-off event was complimented by a presentation by De Wet Naudé about the SAP University Alliances programme and their engagement in the ESEFA project.

The Department of Information Systems at the University of Cape Town (UCT), together with the Otto-von-Guericke University (OVGU) Magdeburg and SAP University Alliances, recently started this pioneering project which aims to establish an on-demand Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) teaching and learning platform for sub-Saharan Africa.

The project is financed by DEG (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH) and SAP AG and will span a period of three years. Major emphasis is on the development of a curriculum for Africa, as well as the provision of a technical solution for its implementation with the long-term objective of establishing an African university community to deliver ERP education courses within the sub-Saharan region on an ongoing basis. The ultimate aim of the project is to help establish a long-term sustainable ERP teaching business model at African universities. In this respect, UP has a pioneering role as the first ODLC in Africa and will offer ESEFA courses to students and promote the education programme to other sub-Saharan African universities.

“This is an exciting project where many students should benefit from the opportunities provided through the project to enhance their own knowledge and skills in the ERP space”, said Professor Alta van der Merwe.

About 20 guests welcomed UP as a trailblazer and new ESEFA partner. “I am very pleased that on November 15 we concluded the partnership agreement between ESEFA and UP, at the same time marking the beginning of what I see will become a long-standing and successful collaboration”, says Patrick Wirz, Strategic Project Manager at OVGU.

Karin Reissenauer, ESEFA Project Manager in the Department of Information Systems at UCT and Professor Lisa Seymour, ESEFA Executive Sponsor and HOD of Information Systems at UCT, both emphasized that the project was addressing a defined need in Africa for skilled employees who are familiar with modern information and computer technology. What ESEFA is going to do is offer opportunities for professional development to the next generation of African employees, not only giving them an in-depth understanding of highly integrated business processes, but also the now-how of standard business software.”

De Wet Naudé, SAP University Alliances Manager in South Africa, further underlines that Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) projects such as ESEFA can make significant contributions to skills development in sub-Saharan Africa; skills that are needed to help realize the huge growth potential of the region.