Google on Wednesday announced that over 500,000 people in Africa have received training in its Africa Digital Skills Programme, launched in April.
Google’s Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos.
Ehimuan-Chiazor said: “The announcement which was made alongside the launch of the new online training portal for Africa (https://digitalskills.withgoogle.com/) meant that the Digital Skills Training Programme has now hit the 50 per cent completion mark.
“The training is on its way to meeting the goal of training one million people in Africa in one year.”
According to her, although 500,000 people have acquired digital skills since the training begun six months ago, there are people in Nigeria and across the continent who are unable to attend the face-to-face training sessions.
She said that such people wanted to acquire digital skills at their own time, from their own phone or computer.
Ehimuan-Chiazor said: “The online portal will make it possible for these people to take advantage of the free digital skills training programme.
“The portal, which contains 89 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 are excited that over 500,000 people in Africa have acquired digital skills training through our programme and we are grateful to every organisation that has partnered with us to make it happen.
“But we are only halfway toward our goal. As we mentioned when we launched the programme in April, we want anyone in Nigeria and across Africa to get trained in digital skills.
“Through this new online portal, more people will now be able to gain skills and knowledge that will help them builds and grow businesses and create new jobs.”
Ehimuan-Chiazor said the internet had continued to be a key engine of growth for business in Africa and globally, with estimates putting its total contribution at $300 billion within the coming decade.
Ehimuan-Chiazor said that although Africa’s online population, currently estimated at 340 million was said to have grown by a rate of over 7,000 per cent since 2000, the continent was yet to enjoy a corresponding increase in the size of its web economy.
Google in April announced its commitment to training one million people in Africa on digital skills.
The training is aimed at helping many young Africans to access and create web-based jobs and contribute to the growth of Africa’s digital economy.