Google Inc. says it has commenced preparations to train one million young Africans, which include 400,000 Nigerians, in digital skills in 2017. This is in the bid to deal with high unemployment numbers on the continent.
The U.S. tech giant plans to train 300,000 people in South Africa, it said in a statement on Tuesday, a country where 35 percent of 15-to-34-year-olds are unemployed. A further 400,000 Nigerians and 200,000 Kenyans will receive free digital training, while another 100,000 people will be selected from other sub-Saharan African countries.
Google South African Country Head Luke Mckend said “Google is in Africa for the long haul and we are making an investment in talent.”
“We hope that the people trained will become pioneers in the field and do great things in digital for companies and for Google.”
He said that more needed to be done to support people in Africa in order to succeed in the digital world. “The internet offers huge opportunities to start new businesses and grow existing ones, and we are committed to helping Africans make the most of the digital revolution”, he said.
The company has partnered with Livity Africa to develop training programs and is rolling out a new online education portal for learners in the region.
“We’re also talking to a number of other potential partners across Africa with a view to scaling the digital skills training program and helping to reach even more young people in more countries”, Google said in a statement.
“The courses are designed to be as light as possible so they do not eat up valuable data. There are nine training courses already available and Google aims to have 50 available by July”, the company said.
African internet bandwidth increased 41 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to a TeleGeography Global Internet Geography report. Research conducted by Google suggests that Africa will have 500 million internet users by 2020.