A collaboration between Absa Bank Kenya and Strathmore University has culminated in 105 Absa employees acquiring world-class digital skills, enhancing their ability to keep up with technological advancements, changing market dynamics, and shifting customer demands.
The graduates make up the first cohort of the Strathmore University-Absa Financial Innovation (SUAFI) Programme. The training programme, which began in April 2023, saw the employees complete courses in Cybersecurity, Data Science, Business Intelligence, Automation, and Dev Ops.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony at Strathmore University, Ms Mumbi Kahindo, the People Function and Culture Director at Absa Bank Kenya, hailed the achievement as a key milestone in the Bank’s partnership with Strathmore University which seeks to ensure that Absa employees retain their relevance in the workplace and meet work expectations in the face of emerging banking technologies that require new digital skills.
“Today marks a beautiful joint achievement of a key milestone by Absa’s partnership with Strathmore University, an initiative that seeks to ensure that our colleagues are upskilled with the necessary future proofing skills that will enable them to adapt to an ever-dynamic workplace environment,”
Ms Kahindo said.
“With automation, artificial intelligence, data science, and digitalisation becoming increasingly prevalent, organisations must adapt to these advancements to thrive. Upskilling colleagues with the knowledge and expertise required to leverage new technologies effectively therefore becomes a necessity.”
On his part, Dr. John Olukuru, the Head of Data Science and Analytics at Strathmore said:
“Data has been termed as the oil that needs to be refined to petrol through analytics. It is wonderful to see Absa making big investments in Business Intelligence and Data Science skills and knowledge of their employees who will now be able to mine data, analyse the data to get relevant information and lessons that will enable the organization to create the best experience and impact to their customers. Congratulations to cohort 1 and looking forward to welcoming cohort 2.”
Speaking at the same event, Dr. Joseph Sevilla, the Director at iLab Africa said:
“As a research center of excellence in ICT innovation and development, we are proud to be part of the journey in upskilling the Absa staff in emerging technology.”
The Talent Development Programme, which was co-developed by an Absa Bank and Strathmore Business School team, saw 500 employees apply, with the first cohort of 107 employees picked to complete the mandatory Agile and Scrum Methodology course before specialising in their respective fields of deployment.
Last year, Absa Bank unveiled its brand purpose, ‘Empowering Africa’s Tomorrow, Together, one story at a time’, which espouses a human-centric approach that includes empowering employees to enhance their capabilities through learning.
The graduation event follows Absa Bank’s recent recognition by the Top Employers Institute as a top employer in Kenya and Africa for the third consecutive year, reiterating its commitment to providing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.