U.S. tech giant Google plans to help alleviate unemployment in Africa by giving free training to 1 million young Africans in digital skills in the next 12 months, the company said in a press conference in Johannesburg.
In South Africa, where 35 percent of 15-to-34-year-olds are unemployed, Google plans to train 300,000 people within the next year, according to Bloomberg. Another 400,000 Nigerians and 200,000 Kenyans will receive free digital training, while 100,000 people will be selected from other sub-Saharan Africa countries.
Africa is expected to have 500 million Internet users by 2020, Google research suggests. African Internet bandwidth increased 41 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to a TeleGeography Global Internet Geography report.
Google has partnered with nonprofit South African youth job skills organization Livity Africa to run two training programs. Digify Bytes will give young people digital skills who want to develop a digital career. Digify Pro is a three-month immersion program for digital specialists, according to ITNewsAfrica.
Launched in 2011, Livity Africa operates a youth‐run media channel to help springboard young people into full‐time jobs. It provides vocational, on‐the‐job training in journalism, media, marketing, digital skills and business entrepreneurship using the slogan, “for the youth, by the youth.” Livity Africa is funded by Google, Red Bull, and the Rockefeller and Nike foundations, among others.
Training programs have already started in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, and will be scaled to reach more people in the next 12 months, ITNewsAfrica reported. A group of 65 volunteer Googlers from around the world are helping the Livity team with content development, training the trainers and, in some cases, delivering training sessions.
is an online-learning portal that offers digital skills courses free to anyone in Africa. Courses are designed so they don’t eat up valuable data, according to ITNewsAfrica. Nine online training courses are available and Google plans to have 50 available by July.
The goal of the training is to help equip 1 million young Africans with digital skills to manage their own online profiles, develop their professional personas and potentially start their own businesses, said said Google South Africa Director Luke McKend, TechCentral reported.
“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,” McKend said. “Everyone can succeed online, start a new business, grow their existing one, or share their passion.”
What’s in it for Google?
“We hope that the people trained will become pioneers in the field and do great things in digital for companies and for Google,” Google said. “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.” From Bloomberg:
Large U.S. tech companies such as Google, Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc. have been under public scrutiny globally for the relatively low tax payments they make outside the U.S. Partly to shore up their credentials as good corporate citizens, the companies have often funded free education programs and touted the number of jobs their businesses have helped create.
Google said in February that it had trained 1 million Europeans in digital skills and committed to training another million by the end of 2017. The company has also joined the European Commission’s Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, an effort to educate more Europeans for jobs in the information technology sector, along with companies such as Cisco Systems Inc. Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., Samsung Electronics Co., SAP SE and Telefonica SA.
Facebook in 2014 backed the U.K.’s Web for Everyone campaign, which sought to train Britons in Internet-related skills. Apple, meanwhile, has announced it is opening a training center in Naples, Italy, to encourage Europeans to learn to code. The company has also highlighted the number of jobs it has created in Europe, both directly through its stores and data centers, and through the companies that create apps for its iOS ecosystem.
Amazon said in January that 10,000 new jobs in Europe were the result of its business in 2015 and that it would create “several thousand more” this year.
Source: AFK Insider