Google has announced that over 500,000 people in Africa have received training in its Africa Digital Skills programme, which was launched in April this year.
The development, which coincided with the launch of its new online training portal for Africa (https://digitalskills.withgoogle.com/), means that the Digital Skills training programme has now hit the 50 per cent completion mark, and is on the way to meeting its goal of training 1 million people in Africa in 1 year.
Commenting on the newly launched portal, Google Country Manager in Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, said: “though 500,000 people have acquired digital skills since trainings begun six months ago, there are people in Nigeria and across the continent who are unable to attend face-to-face training sessions and who want to acquire digital skills in their own time, from their own phone or computer”.
The online portal will make it possible for these people to take advantage of the free digital skills training programme. The portal, which contains 89 online courses on a wide range of digital subjects including web analytics, social media management and mobile marketing, will be available in English, French and, in the near future, in Portuguese, Chiazor said.
“We are excited that over 500,000 people in Africa have acquired digital skills training through our programme and we’re grateful to every organisation that has partnered with us to make it happen. But we are only halfway towards our goal. As we mentioned when we launched the program in April, we want anyone in Nigeria and across Africa to get trained in digital skills. Through this new online portal, more people will now be able to gain skills and knowledge that will help them build and grow businesses and find and create new jobs” Chiazor added.
The Internet continues to be a key engine of growth for business in Africa and globally, with estimates putting its total contribution at $300 billion within the coming decade. Although Africa’s online population, which is currently estimated at 340 million is said to have grown by a rate of over 7,000 per cent since 2000, the continent is yet to enjoy a corresponding increase in the size of its Web economy. In April 2016, Google announced its commitment to train 1 million people in Africa on digital skills with the aim of helping more young Africans access and create web-based jobs, and contribute to the growth of Africa’s digital economy.