More than 500 000 young Africans have been trained on digital skills under Google’s Digital Skills Africa programme.
In April, Google committed to train one million people across the continent on digital skills within a year and, six months later, has reached the halfway mark. The announcement was made alongside the launch of its online training portal for Africa, which offers 89 courses in three languages.
Google South Africa country director Luke Mckend comment: “Although 500 000 people have acquired digital skills since we launched the programme six months ago, there are people across the continent who are unable to attend face-to-face training sessions and who want to acquire digital skills in their own time, from their phone or computer. The online portal will make it possible for them to take advantage of the free digital skills training programme.”
The portal, which offers online courses on a wide range of digital subjects, including web analytics, social media management and mobile marketing, will be available in English, French and, in the near future, Portuguese.
“We’re excited that more than 500 000 people in Africa have acquired digital skills through our program and we’re grateful to every organisation that has partnered with us to make it happen. But we’re only half way towards our goal. As we mentioned when we launched the program in April, we want anyone in Africa to be able to access digital skills training. Through this new online portal, more people will be able to gain the skills and knowledge to help them build and grow businesses and find and create new jobs,” comments Mckend.
The Internet continues to be a key engine of growth for business in Africa and globally, with estimates putting its total GDP contribution in Africa at $300-billion within the coming decade. Although Africa’s online population, which is currently estimated at 340-million, is said to have grown by a rate of over 7 000% since 2000, the continent is yet to enjoy a corresponding increase in the size of its Web economy.