Google on Wednesday announced that it has reached the one million milestone in its Digital Skills Africa programme.
Out of the total figure, Google said about 500,000 were Nigerians. Some of the success stories of the programme were unveiled at an event which took place at George Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The company had in April 2016 expressed its commitment to arm one million Africans with digital skills within a year.
Bunmi Banjo, growth engine & brand lead, Sub-Saharan Africa, said the aim of the DSA was to have impact and increase accessibility of youths between 18-35 to training programmes.
Banjo said it was important to give young Africans the skills required to build businesses because “many businesses fail due to lack of skills”.
“Having 1 million digitally skilled young people in Africa is good for everyone. If young people have the right skills, they’ll build businesses, create jobs and boost economic growth across the continent,” she said.
“As we expand this initiative to reach more local areas across the continent, we hope to see more impact in everyday lives of Africans.”
Google Nigeria country manager Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor described the internet as a driver of economic growth which 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,” she said.
“Our 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.
“A digitally skilled Africa is good for everyone – for our economy, for entrepreneurs and individuals. And yes, good for internet companies like Google.”
The company announced its intention to extend the Digital Skills programme to local communities.
Google aims to 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.
The company will also provide offline versions of the content in languages like Hausa, Swahili and IsiZulu.
The Digital Skills programme offers 89 courses through the online portal.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mind The Gap, ministry of communications and office of SSA to the president on sustainable development goals (SDG) are partners of the Digital Skills Africa programme.