The Chief Executive Officer of Google Inc, Sundar Pichai has announced that his organization will be training 10 million Africans in the next five years. He also charged businesses and individuals on the need to transition to the global economy by leveraging on the digital space. He made this known at the #GoogleForNigeria program held in Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday.
According to him “Last year we set out to help bridge the digital skills gap in Africa when we pledged to train one million young people in the region and we’ve exceeded this target. Through either in-person or online training, we help people learn to build a web presence, use Search to find jobs, get tips to enhance their CV, use social media, and so on.
“Now we’re expanding this program and committing to prepare another 10 million people for jobs of the future in the next five years. We’ll also be providing mobile developer training to 100,000 Africans to develop world-class apps, with an initial focus on Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa”, he said.
He added that Africa is expected to have the world’s largest working-age population of 1.1 billion by 2034; yet only 3 to 4 million jobs are created annually.According to him, this means that there is an urgent need to create opportunities for the millions of people on the continent who are creative, smart and driven to succeed.
“Our charitable arm, Google.org, is committing $20 million over the next five years to nonprofits that are working to improve lives across Africa. We’re giving $2.5 million in initial grants to the nonprofit arms of African start-ups Gidi Mobile and Siyavula to provide free access to learning for 400,000 low-income students in South Africa and Nigeria. The grantees will also develop new digital learning materials that will be free for anyone to use.”
“We also want to invite nonprofits from across the continent to share their ideas for how they could impact their community and beyond. So we’re launching a Google.org Impact Challenge in Africa in 2018 to award $5 million in grants. Any eligible non-profit in Africa can apply, and anyone will be able to help select the best ideas by voting online,we want to do more to support African entrepreneurs in building successful technology companies and products. Based on our global Launchpad Accelerator program, this initiative will provide more than $3 million in equity-free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to more than 60 African start-ups over three years. Intensive three-month programs, held twice per year, will run out of a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos; the program’s first location outside of the United States”
Pichai also visited the computer village in Lagos and had interactive sessions with business owners , celebrities and policy makers in the country.
His visit is coming eleven months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria on his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa for a series of meetings with key players in the country’s tech ecosystem.