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Google to boost jobs through training of 1 million Africans

By Alex Chiejina
LAGOS (Sundiata Post) – Google International is scaling up its digital skills training programmes to accommodate a million Africans in the next year, aiming to deal with high unemployment numbers on the continent. The U.S. tech giant plans to give free digital training to 300,000 people in South Africa, 400,000 Nigerians and 200,000 Kenyans while another 100,000 people will be selected from 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 in a statement made available to Sundiata Post. “We hope that the people trained will become pioneers in the field and do great things in digital for companies and for Google. The internet offers huge opportunities to start new businesses and grow existing ones, and we’re committed to helping Africans make the most of the digital revolution.”
The company has partnered with Livity Africa to develop training programs and is rolling out a new online education portal for learners in the region. “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.
African Internet bandwidth increased 41 per cent between 2014 and 2015, according to a TeleGeography Global Internet Geography report. Research conducted by Google suggests Africa will have 500 million Internet users by 2020.
Google said in February that it had trained one 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.
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