Through its Digital Skills for Africa (DSA) programme, Google has empowered no less than 500,000 Nigerians with digital intelligence.
Google announced that it has actually reached the one million milestone in its DSA programme with Nigeria having the largest trainees.
Last April, Google had said that it would train as many as one million Africans on digital skills within a year and true to its word, the company has kept its promise. The 500,000 Nigerian trainees would use their new knowledge to empower themselves and create multiple jobs.
Confirming that it has reached its target early, Google further disclosed that it has set itself to train even more Africans in digital skills in the coming year.
In addition, Google is extending its commitment to the digital skills programme by assisting local communities further in several ways. First, Google will provide offline versions of its online training materials to reach individuals and businesses in low access areas where it is unable to hold physical training sessions. Second, Google will provide offline versions of the content in languages like Hausa, Swahili and IsiZulu.
The digital skills programme offers 89 courses through the online https://digitalskills.withgoogle.com/ portal, and Google works with 14 training partners covering more than 20 countries to offer face to face training. The programme will also be addressing needs for small business owners, who are looking to better understand how to take advantage of the web across Africa. Google will add web-focused skills training for SMEs across Africa as part of this initiative.
Speaking on the development, Google Nigeria Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, said: “The Web is a driver of economic growth, and is transforming society as a whole. People must be equipped, through training and reskilling to make use of the tools, and take advantage of it for entrepreneurship, employment and e-inclusion.”
According to her, their goal with this and previous web training initiatives is to enable more people across the continent better understand how to leverage the web tools for growth, to give them access to better employment and/or the skills to start their own businesses.
She said a digitally skilled Africa is good for everyone – for our economy, for entrepreneurs, individuals, and good for internet companies like Google.
Growth Engine and Brand Lead, sub-Saharan Africa, Bunmi Banjo, said having one million digitally skilled young people in Africa is good for everyone.
“If young people have the right skills, they will build businesses, create jobs and boost economic growth across the continent.
“As we expand this initiative to reach more local areas across the continent, we hope to see more impact in everyday lives of Africans,” Banjo said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said that it is keen on digitising the economy by diversifying more into Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Special Assistant, Innovation and Entreprenuership, Office of the Vice President, Ife Adebayo, said the government is committed to ensuring ICT takes its rightful place in the scheme of things as far as governance is concerned. Adebayo stressed that the change mantra can only be achieved through technology.