Google today announced a commitment to train one million young Africans in digital skills in the next year.
In realising this commitment, Google is supporting its partner Livity Africa to run two training programmes: ‘Digify Bytes’ to provide digital skills to young people looking to develop a digital career; and ‘Digify Pro’, a three-month immersion programme for digital specialists.
These have already launched in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, and will be scaled to reach more people in the next twelve months. A group of 65 volunteer Googlers from around the world are helping the Livity team with content development, ‘training the trainers’ and, in some cases, delivering the training sessions.
With the focus on the digital media environment rather than coding, it was noted that the skills learned could help with finding work in advertising agencies, marketing departments of companies, or for self-promotion when running a small business.
Luke McKend, country director of Google South Africa, said that 150 people have been trained since 2014, with each finding work or starting their own company.
Additionally, today sees the launch of digifyafrica.com, an online-learning portal that will house a range of digital skills courses, available to anyone in Africa for free. The courses are designed to not consume valuable data, with nine training courses already available and 50 aimed for by July.
The Digify programmes will provide tools and knowledge on subjects including building an online presence, creating content, understanding web design and user experience, social media and app development. A group of 65 Googlers from nine different countries have helped Livity develop content, provide mentorship and, in some cases, deliver the training.
McKend said, “The internet is at the heart of economic growth and the Digital Skills Programme is aimed at helping more Africans play a part in the digital economy. Everyone can succeed online, start a new business, grow their existing one, or share their passion.”