On Thursday, Alphabet Inc’s Chief Executive said that Google aims to train 10 million people in Africa in online skills over the next five years in an effort to make them more employable. The U.S. technology giant also hopes to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, a company spokeswoman said.
Google’s pledge marked an expansion of an initiative it launched in April 2016 to train young Africans in digital skills. It announced in March it had reached its initial target of training one million people.
The company is “committing to prepare another 10 million people for jobs of the future in the next five years,” Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told a company conference in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos.
Google said it will offer a combination of in-person and online training. Google has said on its blog that it carries out the training in languages including Swahili, Hausa and Zulu and tries to ensure that at least 40 percent of people trained are women.
Africa, with its rapid population growth, falling data costs and heavy adoption of mobile phones, having largely leapfrogged personal computer use, is tempting for tech companies. Executives such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s chairman Jack Ma have also recently toured parts of the continent.
But countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, which Google said it would initially target for its mobile developer training, may not offer as much opportunity as the likes of China and India for tech firms.
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