Google CEO Sundar Pichai, says the company plans to train 10-million Africans for digital jobs over the next 5 years. He made the comment on Thursday during a surprise appearance at the ongoing week long #GoogleForNigeria event being held at the Landmark Event Center, Victoria Island, Lagos. The announcement by Sundar Pichai follows a year-long programme to train 1-million people with digital skills, which was completed in March. Google’s Digital Skills programme reportedly offers 89 courses through an online portal and face-to-face training in 20 countries with 14 training partners.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai later confirmed his announcement with a tweet:
“Thrilled that we’re expanding our digital skills program to train 10M Africans over the next 5 years #GoogleforNigeria,”
Google South Africa country director Luke Mckend says of the programme:
“Having 1 million digitally skilled young people in Africa is good for everyone. Because we think that if young people have the right skills, they’ll build businesses, create jobs and boost economic growth across the continent,”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai is the latest global tech firm chief to make the pilgrimage to Lagos, the capital of Africa’s most populous country, following trips last year by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.
Microsoft’s Satya Nadella chose Kenya for Microsoft’s biggest launch event in 10 years, for Windows 10 in July 2015. It was seen as a sign of Africa’s growing importance.
During his surprise trip last September, Zuckerberg said of Africa: “this is where the future is going to be built”.
Nigeria has an estimated population of 191 million and about 91 million Internet users as of December 2016. This amounts to nearly 47.9% of the population, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission.