Ecobank Group has partnered with Microsoft, LinkedIn, GitHub and Ecobank Academy to provide training to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Led by Group CEO Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is the parent company of Ecobank Group. Ayeyemi has held the role since 2015 and is responsible for the group’s business and operations.
Under his leadership, the bank will empower SMEs with digital skills to leverage online resources for business growth.
Participants will acquire skills in areas such as customer services, digital marketing, financial analysis, graphic design, IT support, project management, sales, data, analysis, IT administration and software development.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, the bank received feedback from customers who were unable to access businesses and services due restrictions. This propelled the group to step in to aid SMEs to bridge the pandemic-driven operational divide.
Commenting on the partnership, Microsoft Regional General Manager, Middle East and Africa – Multi-Market Region Ibrahim Youssry said helping to develop digital talent will also facilitate innovation at the local level.
“We are committed to building digital talent pipelines to support the workforce of the future, and our Global Skilling Initiative is an important part of this process,” he said. “But beyond the future workforce, digital talent will also support more local innovation, as developers and entrepreneurs are empowered to create locally relevant solutions that best address the challenges and needs of African countries.”
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, experts have emphasized the need for businesses to operate digitally. According to the UN, small businesses in Africa need to innovate in order to survive.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has turbocharged the shift towards digital,” Ecobank Group Executive for Commercial Banking Josephine Anan-Ankomah said. “It is essential that businesses adapt so that they are able to compete effectively in today’s rapidly changing landscape.”