Google kicks off Digital Skills For Africa program in Aba
Google Nigeria today announced the launch of the Google Digital Skills for Africa program in Aba and other local communities in Abia State. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Eldorado Hotel and Events Centre, Aba.
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.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in Nigeria as at December 2017 was 18.8% (16 million people) and under-employment at 21.2%.
“The youth make up 60% of Africa’s unemployed, developing digital entrepreneurship and creating new job opportunities for them is critical to Africa’s transformative growth,” says Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Head, Brand & Reputation, SSA at Google. “We’re doing this because we believe that more needs to be done to empower young Africans to succeed in the digital world.”
Google announced its Digital Skills for Africa initiative in 2016, when it committed to training 1m young Africans within one year. In 2017 it extended the programme for another 5 years in order to reach 10m Africans. Last year Google announced plans to help more people in Africa prepare for jobs of the future through local community-focused Digital Skills Training programs. In total over 3m people have now acquired different levels of digital skills in 29 countries across Africa via face-to-face training as well as through the online platform – g.co/digitalskills which is available in English, French and Portuguese.
Barrister Chris Ezem, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) representing Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State Governor, at the Google Digital Skills for Africa launch in Aba said that, “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 that will drive business expansion, help to increase sales and create employment opportunities in Abia State.” He further said that, “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, giving Aba, the commercial hub in Nigeria, the needed visibility.”
Onyebuchi Nwigwe, President, Association of Tailors and Fashion Designers in Abia State, expressed his appreciation to Google for introducing the Google Digital Skills Training to local manufacturers in Aba, Abia State. Onyebuchi said that, “The association is opened to receive 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.”
The Digital Skills for Africa programme is designed to address the skills needs of jobseekers and small business owners, and has to date been rolled out in roughly 100 communities across a number of countries including Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. By engaging directly with the communities that can most benefit from the training, Google is able to identify the specific needs of these communities, support their local growth activities and ensure the impact is felt not just on an individual but also at a community level.