Google Extends ‘Digital Skills For Africa Initiative’ to Abia State 

0

Emma Okonji

Having trained three million people in different levels of digital skills in 29 countries across Africa, with 50 per cent of the beneficiaries coming from Nigeria, Google has extended the training to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Aba and other communities in Abia State. 

Tagged ‘Digital Skills for Africa Program,’ Google seeks to empower SMEs across African countries with digital skills through face-to-face training as well as virtual training through its online platform, designed to enable them use technology tools to improve productivity and how to better showcase their local products and solutions to the entire world, through internet 

connectivity. 

Google’s Digital Skills for Africa program offers training courses to help individuals and communities develop and grow digital skills, find jobs and advance in their careers.The program provides free online courses, tools, and in-person digital training to students, educators, job seekers and businesses.

Speaking during the launch of the initiative in Aba, Head, Brand and Reputation at Google, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, said up to 60 per cent of African youths remained unemployed, hence developing digital entrepreneurship and creating new job opportunities for them was critical to Africa’s transformative growth. “Google is doing this because it believes that more needs to be done to empower young Africans to succeed in the digital world,” Aderemi-Makinde added.

Pleased with the training initiative and for extending such initiative to Aba and its environs, the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, while welcoming the Google team during the launch of the training initiative in Aba, said the people of Aba were creative minded with innovative skills but lack the digital skills and empowerment that will enable them do more local production for the state and the country as a whole. The governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chris Ezem, welcomed the training initiative and challenged Google to establish Information and Communications Technology Hubs (ICT Hubs) and provide Internet services to different sectors in Aba communities that will further empower the citizens.

“The government of Abia State is excited to have Google introduce the Digital Skills Training to the business community and local manufacturers in Aba, Abia State, that will drive business expansion, help to increase sales and create employment opportunities in the state.

“The world is now a global place as a result of information technology and Abia, through the Digital Skills Training by Google will be able to key into the digital narrative,” Ikpeazu said. 

The governor promised to expedite action in the planned Eyimba Economic City, a commercial centre that will accommodate over 700,000 traders when completed. He said work had commenced at the centre and would be completed by December this year. 

President, Association of Tailors and Fashion Designers in Abia State, Onyebuchi Nwigwe, expressed his appreciation to Google for introducing the Google Digital Skills Training to local manufacturers in the state. “The association is open to receiving the training from Google because they know that as fashion designers and tailors, they will be able to properly compete with their counterparts across the world after they have adopted and introduced the digital skills to their business models,”   Onyebuchi said. 

The Digital Skills for Africa Initiative is designed to address the skills needs of job seekers and small business owners, and has to date been rolled out in over 100 communities across a number of countries including Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.