Google, Inc. has announced its plan to train one million young Africans in its ongoing digital skills training program, which it hopes will help reduce the surging rate of unemployment in Africa.
According to Google’s Country Manager Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, the opportunity is expected to equip young Africans with digital skills that can help them start meaningful businesses and make themselves more employable.
“If people have the right skills, they can build businesses, they will become more employable and can really help boost the economy of the continent,” Ehimuan-Chiazor said Tuesday.
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Countries Set to Benefit
The US-based technology giant plans to train 400,000 Nigerians, 300,000 South Africans and 200,000 Kenyans. The remaining 100,000 trainees will be picked from other sub-Saharan African countries.
Delivering the news in South Africa on 12 April, Google’s Country Manager in South Africa Luke Mckend insisted that the multinational technology firm will continue to empower Africans with the necessary skills so that they can better their lives.
“Google is in Africa for the long haul and we are making an investment in talent,” Luke said. “We hope that people trained will become pioneers in the field and do great things in digital companies and for Google,” he added.
According to Luke, the internet is full of new business opportunities, and Google aims to help Africans exploit these opportunities to ensure they succeed in the digital world.
Google has partnered with the content creation giant Livity Africa to come up with training programs. It has also started rolling out a new digital education portal specifically designed for learners in Africa.
The technology company also expressed its desire to partner with more potential organizations in Africa with the aim of enhancing its digital skills training program and ensuring that more African countries get to benefit.
Google estimates that about 500 million people in Africa will be using the internet by the year 2020. Currently, African Internet Bandwidth stands at 41 percent. Through digital skills training, Google hopes the growing digital community will be able to make the most of this online revolution.
Unemployment in Africa
Studies show that about 50 percent of young Africans between 20 and 24 years have at least a secondary school education, which means that more educated Africans are entering the labor market every year.
In South Africa, 5.2 million people who have attained the legal working age are estimated to be jobless, according to Trading Economics. And even though the percentage has taken a downward trend over the few months, the situation remains dire.
In Kenya, the case is not different as the unemployment rate currently stands its highest number ever. According to Trading Economics, 40 percent of Kenyans who have attained the legal labor force age (18-24) are actively looking for a job. The rate is expected to maintain an upward trend as more graduates are joining the labor market every year.