Afrika Tikkun, Maharishi acquire T-Systems ICT Academy

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Afrika Tikkun, Maharishi acquire T-Systems ICT Academy

Published on: September 15th, 2021

The T-Systems ICT Academy, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, headquartered in Germany, has been acquired by Afrika Tikkun and the Maharishi Invincibility Institute, to broaden access to digital skills training to disadvantaged youth across South Africa.

The non-profit organisations did not disclose how much they paid for the ICT Academy.
ITWeb, in October last year, broke the news that IT services company Gijima had acquired its former tender rival T-Systems South Africa (TSSA) for an undisclosed amount.

In February this year, the Competition Commission unconditionally approved the acquisition of TSSA by Gijima.
In a statement yesterday, Maharishi Invincibility Institute and Afrika Tikkun say after the sale of TSSA early in 2021, T-Systems looked for the most fitting partner for its ICT and Digital Skills Training Academy, which has operated for over 18 years.

Maharishi Invincibility Institute is a non-profit private college and self-development organisation. This public benefit organisation provides bursary loans and self-development programmes for bright, deserving youth to further their studies and assists them to find employment opportunities when they graduate.

Afrika Tikkun provides a holistic development model in disadvantaged communities, with a focus on early childhood development, child and youth development, and career development. According to Maharishi and Afrika Tikkun, the T-Systems ICT Academy has successfully trained and placed over 3 000 formerly unemployed youth in employment opportunities across South Africa’s ICT sector. Shirley Vrnjas, TSSA’s community trust board member, comments: “We went through a rigorous selection process to find the most appropriate partner to take over the T-Systems ICT Academy. We are very excited about the formation of the Digital Youth ICT Academy, and the powerful and purposeful non-profit organisations behind it now. The original objective of the T-Systems ICT Academy, which is to equip unemployed youth for full-time employment, remains even more critical today as it did 18 years ago.”

With the sale of the ICT Academy, it has been renamed the Digital Youth ICT Academy (Digital Youth), and the partners’ joint vision is to create the largest Digital ICT Academy in South Africa.

Marc Lubner, group CEO of Afrika Tikkun, comments: “Two significant not-for-profit organisations in SA have formed a joint venture which pools our resources to ensure even greater success.
“We are truly excited to be involved in a partnership like this one, which is unusual in the non-profit sector in South Africa and will form a platform for much more collaboration of this nature going forward.” Digital Youth recognises the need and massive opportunity to develop ICT and digital skills to empower and equip the youth of South Africa to become economically active. It notes that creating digital markets and boosting digitisation can yield significant economic benefits and lead to substantial social benefits to societies and communities. Digitisation has the potential to increase productivity, create new jobs and enhance the quality of life for society at large, it adds.
The academy notes that research by McKinsey & Company shows the accelerated adoption of digital technologies could triple SA’s productivity growth, more than double growth in per capita income, and add more than a percentage point to South Africa’s real GDP growth rate over the next decade.

Digital Youth will collaborate closely with its partners in determining the skillsets that require the most focus. These skills will include cloud, cyber security, infrastructure, software engineering, robotics, animation and app development, to name a few.

It will also work closely with existing educational and digitally-related programmes already in place in Africa.
However, Afrika Tikkun and the Maharishi Invincibility Institute will significantly expand the joint offering. The centre will provide leadership and job placements at scale for clients wishing to recruit from a pool of skilled academy graduates.

“Digital Youth will allow all our partners to skill and upskill their employees and to ensure employability of youth who otherwise would not have been able to access the requisite skills. Working closely with our partners on filling their scarce skills gaps will be a game-changer,” says Dr Taddy Blecher, CEO of Maharishi Invincibility Institute.
Existing learning and training programmes will be augmented with digital skills to increase the value these learners and trainees will contribute to their existing or future workplaces.

“I could imagine no better home for the academy. The culture fit is amazing and the value set is completely aligned. This collaboration will certainly allow us to realise our vision to continue to build our nation through providing relevant skill development,” concludes Marcus Karuppan, general manager of Digital Youth ICT Academy.