Global search engine, Google announced on Tuesday that it is set to train about one million African youth on Digital entrepreneurship within the next 12 months.
In partnership with Livity Africa, the U.S. tech giant plans to train 300,000 people in South Africa, a further 400,000 Nigerians and 200,000 Kenyans. While another 100,000 people will be selected from other sub-Saharan Africa countries.
According to the company, the program is aimed at dealing with the high unemployment numbers on the continent.
Youth unemployment across Africa is high (35% in South Africa, 17% in Kenya, 13% in Nigeria)
The programs are divided into two parts namely; ‘Digify Bytes’ which will give digital skills to young people looking to develop a digital career; and ‘Digify Pro’ – a 3-month immersion programme for digital specialists.
“Google is in Africa for the long haul and we are making an investment in talent,” Google South Africa country head Luke Mckend said.
“We hope that the people trained will become pioneers in the field and do great things in digital for companies and for Google.”
“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 added.
The company also rolled out a new online portal – digifyafrica.com that will house a range of digital skills courses, available to anyone in Africa for free.
There are nine training courses already available and Google aims to have 50 available by July.
Country Manager, Google Nigeria Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, who also spoke at the launch said: “The internet is at the heart of economic growth and the Digital Skills Program is 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.
“The initiative would help young entrepreneurs looking for ways to develop digital skills for the challenges ahead.”
Developing digital entrepreneurship and creating new job opportunities for young people is critical to Africa’s transformative growth.