In a bid to mop up alarming rate of youth unemployment in Africa, Google Inc. has announced plans to empower one million Africans with digital skills by the end of 2017.
The search engine juggernaut plans to give free digital training to 400,000 Nigerians and 200,000 Kenyans and 300,000 people in South Africa. The remaining 100,000 beneficiaries will be picked from across other sub-Saharan Africa countries.
“Google is in Africa for the long haul and we are making an investment in talent,” Google South Africa country head Luke Mckend said Tuesday.
“We hope that the people trained will become pioneers in the field and do great things in digital for companies and for Google,” he furthered.
Though the move seems unbelievable and hugely ambitious given the short time frame, according to Bloomberg Google has kickstarted collaborations with Livity Africa to develop training modules and is launching new online education portal for learners on the continent.
“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,” Google said in a statement.
Should Google succeed at this, it would make significant impact in the fight against unemployment and poverty. It’s safe to assume Google would be collaborating with Omidyar Network-funded PIN Nigeria, the digital advocacy and development organization that has been leading championing digital literacy and training in Nigeria.