Collaboration Across Africa Promotes SHRM Certification and Training

Part of a continuing series to help you get to know more about SHRM's international influence.

By Howard A. Wallack, MA, MSc, SHRM-SCP May 31, 2016

Business opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa abound. Growth in the region is robust compared to Europe and North America, and is second only to Asia. Across the continent, the HR function is gaining skills, credibility and influence and becoming more effective. SHRM’s many delivery partners there are promoting SHRM certification in three ways:

  • Awareness of the SHRM Competency Model.
  • Delivery of SHRM certification preparation training programs.
  • Formation of international delegations to the upcoming SHRM 2016 Annual Conference to earn recertification credits.

Five training companies in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa now offer both open-enrollment and in-company certification preparation. Supporting the effort are local SHRM Forums, which are engagement groups of SHRM members networking across the country. Three partners in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa recently held special events or launched new training cycles.

Here are brief descriptions of SHRM’s activities with its current partners in sub-Saharan Africa:

Jethro Learning Management Institute, headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will be launching its first SHRM certification preparation training program this year. This SHRM partner offers certification training in HR, project management, management and consulting services. Operating since 2009, the values-driven company is committed to accountability, professionalism, excellence, positive attitudes, and integrity and quality of service.

Attendees at the CIAR Africa launch of SHRM certification in Nairobi.
Audience at the event hosted by SHRM Forum/Ghana and CITAM in Accra.

CITAM, headquartered in Accra, Ghana, hosted “Global HR Trends and Competencies Required for Organizational Success” with the SHRM Forum/Ghana. The April 2016 event attracted 167 HR professionals, CEOs and other managers from multinational and Ghanaian companies. Attendees focused on the SHRM Competency Model and the value of the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP credentials. This full-service training and consulting operation delivers programs in HR management, project management, entrepreneurship, small enterprise development and IT services.


Attendees at the CIAR Africa launch of SHRM certification in Nairobi.
Attendees at the CIAR Africa launch of SHRM certification in Nairobi.

CIAR Africa, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, held a SHRM certification launch event in May 2015 attended by HR practitioners from multinational firms, Kenyan companies and international development organizations operating in East Africa. This SHRM partner provides training in leadership, sales, retail and HR, as well as organizational development and consulting services in organizational culture, high-performing teams and employee competency assessments.


Skills-Farm, headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, held a session in April 2016 called "Future Ready HR." Speakers included Michael Ikpoki, past CEO of MTN Nigeria, on “What the CEO Wishes HR Knows & Does”; Funke Amobi, CHRO of Stanbic IBTC, on “What Your HR Management Toolbox Should Look Like”; and myself, SHRM’s global markets executive, on “Emerging Strengths & Success Competencies,” which emphasized global HR challenges and provided an in-depth examination of the SHRM competency of Global and Cultural Effectiveness. As a result of the activities of the SHRM Forum/Nigeria and Skills-Farm over the past few years, SHRM membership in Nigeria has grown considerably, making it fourth in terms of countries with the largest number of members (after the U.S., India and Canada). Skills-Farm offers HR training, consulting and coaching to a broad range of HR clients throughout all sectors of the Nigerian economy, including oil and gas, telecommunications, finance, services and the public sector. It is part of a trio of related companies that includes Profiliant for sales training and Performance Frontiers for assessments and consulting.

Attendees at the CIAR Africa launch of SHRM certification in Nairobi.
First day of SHRM certification preparation delivery at Sasfin bank, Johannesburg, client of Emergence Growth.

Emergence Growth, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, recently held its first in-company SHRM certification preparation program at Sasfin, a local investment bank. The bank's CHRO is serving as a role model by participating in the program, which she is using as a team-building and professionalization tool for HR managers. This SHRM partner is a diversified HR firm offering consulting, outsourcing, training, survey research and coaching. It also works with the Birches Group on pan-African salary surveys and represents Gallup to manage its Strengthfinder product line and coaching services in South Africa.

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