Digital skills have become an important part of our lives. Even in Africa where it can be argued that innovations are behind the time, more and more people are becoming more internet savvy and businesses especially are beginning to take advantages of the opportunities inherent therein.
With that willingness to adopt digital culture available, one major thing remains a hindrance; the avenues for getting digital skill training on the continent are very few.
Google decided to step into the fray to try and make the playing field a little more even. Last year, the company announced its commitment to training 1 million Africans in digital skills within one year.
That would mean that one million Africans who would have been previously handicapped in digital skills because of the lack of training centers were to be given a hand up. To that end, Google launched the Digital Skills Africa online portal to teach a wide range of digital subjects including web analytics, social media management, and digital marketing.
Students who applied for the program were able to choose between face-to-face training sessions or remotely with a customized learning plan and courses were available in both English and French.
Digital skills training goals exceeded
Google recently announced that it has reached the set milestone and with one extra month to spare. Google Nigerian country manager, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, made the announcement along with a further commitment to training even more Africans;
“We have reached our target early, and we have committed ourselves to train even more Africans in digital skills in the coming year.”
Of the one million Africans who were awarded certificates of proficiency after the digital training sessions, 500,000 were Nigerians. Now Google also provides offline versions of its online training materials and is translating these offline versions of the courses to languages like Hausa, Swahili, and IsiZulu, to reach individuals and businesses in low access areas where physical training sessions are not possible.
The company which should be lauded for all the work already done also plans to address the digital needs of small business owners, who are looking to better understand how to take advantage of the web across Africa. Google is working with 14 training partners covering more than 20 countries across Africa to offer training.