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Google aims to significantly scale up its digital literacy program across Africa, with its latest iteration aiming to reach 10 million across the continent.
In the one year period starting from April 2016, Google collaborated with Livity Africa, offering digital literacy courses that succeeded in teaching at least a million young people a range of skills, including tapping into social media, utilizing free online tools, and entrepreneurial opportunities found online.
Google has expanded the program so that over the next five years, 10 million will acquire such digital skills. This training will be a mix of online and in-person training, and, to reach out to as wide an audience as possible, the courses will be offered in local languages including isiZulu, Hausa, and Kiswahili.
The program seeks to ensure that women constitute at least 40% of those who will benefit from this training.
Google also announced a $2.5 million grant to Nigeria’s Gidi Mobile and South Africa’s Siyavula, e-learning portals that will provide learning for 400,000 students in their respective nations. The two will also produce learning materials to be freely accessed by anyone.
Over the next five years, Google will also commit $20 million for nonprofits improving the welfare of people across the continent.
The Impact Challenge has also been opened up to African nonprofits, which stand to secure $5 million in grants.
And, in a step beyond basic online literacy, Google will also train 100,000 as mobile app developers, with this program initially limited to Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.
Furthermore, the Launchpad Accelerator, a program that helps startups fast-track the development of their products thanks to Google’s extensive support, will also be available to African startups, with the first Launchpad Space outside the USA being established in Lagos, Nigeria.