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Tech giant to train 1m people in Africa on digital skill

Mrs Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, the Country Manager, Google Nigeria, made this announcement during a media briefing in Lagos.

Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, Google Nigeria Country Manager

Google on Tuesday announced a commitment to train one million young Africans in digital skills in 2016.

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Mrs. Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, the Country Manager, Google Nigeria, made this announcement during a media briefing in Lagos.

According to Ehimuan-Chiazo, internet is at the heart of economic growth and the Digital Skills Programme aimed at helping more Africans play a part in the digital economy.

"Everyone can succeed online, start a new business, grow their existing one, or share their passion with others.

"More are needed to be done to support people in Africa to succeed in the digital world, and Google want to be part of that,'' she said.

The country manager said that internet offers huge opportunities to start new businesses and grow existing ones, saying the company was committed to helping Africans make the most of the digital revolution.

She said that in realising this commitment, Google was supporting its partner Livity Africa to run two training programmes.

She listed the programmes as 'Digify Bytes’ to give digital skills to young people seeking to develop a digital career; and ‘Digify Pro’, a three-month immersion programme for digital specialists.

The country manager said that these programmes were already launched in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa and would be scaled to reach more people in the next 12 months.

Ehimuan-Chiazor said that a group of 65 volunteer Googlers from around the world would help the Livity team with content development, training the trainers and in some cases, deliver the training sessions.

"Today sees the launch of digifyafrica.com, an online-learning portal that will house a range of digital skills courses, available to anyone in Africa, free.

"The courses are designed to be as “light” as possible so they don’t eat up valuable data. There are nine training courses already available and Google aims to have 50 available by July,'' she said.

She said that to be a part of the training, one needed to sign up at the digital skill platform and the person should fall within the ages of 18 to 35.

Ehimuan-Chiazor added that by 2020 there would be half a billion internet users in Africa, presenting an opportunity for African businesses and digital entrepreneurs.

"Youth unemployment across Africa is high (35per cent in South Africa, 17per cent in Kenya, 13per cent in Nigeria), developing digital entrepreneurship and creating new job opportunities for young people is critical to Africa’s transformative growth.

"Digital skills are still under-developed, making it harder for African economies to get the most out of the web and that is why Google wants to help close this knowledge gap.

"Google is today pledging to train one million young people in Africa in digital skills in the next year as part of their contribution to growing Africa’s digital economy,'' she said.

In his own contribution, Mr. Daniel Ikuenobe, in the Delivery Unit if the Office of Google’s Vice President said that the training would help in reducing the unemployment rate of the country.

"We are excited with the Google programme because it will help in job creation that is needed in the country,'' he said.

Mr. Seyi Ogunseye, the Head, Hardware and Infrastructure, Office of National Content on Information and Communications Technology, said that the programme would help in the building skills for human capacity development.

"With help and collaboration from relevant stakeholders it will also help in skill development and job opportunity for the youths,'' he said.

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