The Internet is at the heart of economic growth of any nation. Currently, 80% of people find out about new business through search and directories. However, Digital Skills are still under-developed, making it harder for African economies to get the most out of the web.
Google aims to close this gap by training 10 million people in Africa in online skills over the next five years in an effort to make them more employable. The U.S. technology giant also hopes to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, a company spokeswoman said.
Google’s pledge marked an expansion of an initiative it launched in April 2016 to train young Africans in digital skills. It announced in March it had reached its initial target of training one million people.
Google said it will offer a combination of in-person and online training. Google has said on its blog that it carries out the training in languages including Swahili, Hausa and Zulu and tries to ensure that at least 40 percent of people trained are women. It did not say how much the programme cost.
Africa, with its rapid population growth, falling data costs and heavy adoption of mobile phones, having largely leapfrogged personal computer use, is tempting for tech companies. Executives such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s chairman Jack Ma have also recently toured parts of the continent.
But countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, which Google said it would initially target for its mobile developer training, may not offer as much opportunity as the likes of China and India for tech firms.