According to Google, there’ll be half a billion internet users in Africa by 2020.
It sees this as a great opportunity for African businesses and digital entrepreneurs, but they’ve identified a gap in digital skills.
“To help close this knowledge gap, Google is pledging to train 1 million young people in Africa in digital skills in the next year, as part of our contribution to growing Africa’s digital economy,” Bunmi Banjo, Google Africa marketer and digital education lead, writes on the company’s blog.
Google is working with its partner, Livity Africa, in two training programmes: Digify Bytes, aimed at helping young people develop a digital career, and Digify Pro, a three-month immersion programme to develop digital specialists for jobs in companies or digital agencies.
In April, Google launched the Digify Africa portal – an online learning platform housing a range of digital skills tutorials and courses.
“Available to anyone in Africa, it’s been designed to be as ‘light’ as possible to help people manage data usage,” Banjo says.
When Chebet Mutai from Nairobi, Kenya attended Google’s “Women, Technology and Entrepreneurship” event in 2012, it persuaded her to quit her day job at a bank and follow her dream of opening up a business in fashion.
Mutai used her own savings to buy two sewing machines, rent a workshop, and started her company called Wazawazi, an amalgamation of two Swahili words meaning “open-mindedness”.
Today, Mutai has 12 employees, and exports her leather bags and accessories across the world.
See what else people gained from the course:
Google said the internet is able to offer a huge platform to start new businesses or expand existing establishments.
“We’re committed to helping Africans make the most of the digital revolution.”
“The internet is a growth engine, and it’s for everyone. There’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in Africa.”