105 Absa employees have graduated after being trained to keep up with changes in technology, the fast-changing dynamics of the market, and shifting customer demands.

The graduates form the first cohort of the Strathmore University-Absa Financial Innovation (SUAFI) Programme, a partnership between Absa Bank Kenya and Strathmore University.

The employees received and completed courses in Cybersecurity, Data Science, Business Intelligence, Automation, and Dev Ops as part of the training, which started in April 2023.

Absa Bank Kenya People Function and Culture Director Mumbi Kahindo says the programme seeks to equip Absa staff with new skills to keep up with the emerging banking technologies.

“With automation, artificial intelligence, data science, and digitalisation becoming increasingly prevalent, organisations must adapt to these advancements to thrive,” said Kahindo.

She added: “Upskilling colleagues with the knowledge and expertise required to leverage new technologies effectively therefore becomes a necessity.”

Strathmore University Head of Data Science and Analytics Dr John Olukuru lauded the partnership and the significance of using data analytics to make key business decisions.

"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,” intimated Dr Olukuru.

On his part, iLab Africa Director Dr Joseph Sevilla expressed pride that the ICT innovation and development research center is a key part of the Absa staff upskilling in emerging tech.

500 employees applied for the Talent Development Programme with the first cohort of 107 picked to complete the set Agile and Scrum Methodology course before specialization.

In 2023, Absa Bank launched its brand purpose, ‘Empowering Africa’s Tomorrow, Together, one story at a time’, which includes enabling employees to boost their ability through learning.

Absa was recently feted as a top employer in Kenya and Africa for the third year running by the Top Employers Institute as proof of its pledge to a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.