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US Tech Firms, Ecobank Team On Digital Financial Learning For SMBs

Ecobank, based in Lome, Togo, its Ecobank Academy, and U.S. tech giants Microsoft, LinkedIn and Micosoft-owned GitHub are teaming up to expand digital financial literacy in sub-Saharan Africa’s business sector, according to a press release.

The goal of the effort is “to provide training to equip [small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs)] across sub-Saharan Africa,” the companies stated in the release issued by the bank. “This training will provide [SMBs] digital skills and knowledge to succeed in today’s digital world.”

According to the release: “[SMBs] have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with its attendant lockdowns and disruptions to supply chains, plummeting sales, lost revenue and operational challenges. In response to feedback from our customers, Ecobank through its Commercial Banking Segment is helping business owners close the digital skills gap within their chosen fields and improve the digital capabilities of their employees.”

Ecobank Group Executive for Commercial Banking Josephine Anan-Ankomah said in the release: “The COVID-19 pandemic has turbocharged the shift towards digital. It is essential that businesses adapt so that they are able to compete effectively in today’s rapidly changing landscape.”

The training will focus on 10 skillsets, the release stated: customer service; digital marketing; financial analysis; graphic design; information technology and help desks; project management; sales; data analysis; IT administration; and software development.

The online program is set to run through the end of 2021, according to the release.

“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,” Microsoft Regional General Manager for the Middle East and Africa Ibrahim Youssry said in the release. “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.”

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