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Google commits to empower 20,000 Nigerian women and youth with digital skills

Google has announced an initiative to train 20,000 Nigerian women and young people in digital skills. The tech giant also plans to extend a 1.2-billion-naira ($1.6 million) grant to support Nigeria’s goal of creating one million digital jobs, according to statements from its Africa executives on Tuesday.

As technology increasingly shapes our world, Nigeria recognises the importance of fostering digital literacy among its vast youth population. This sentiment was echoed by Vice President Kashim Shettima in a meeting with Google Africa executives in Abuja. Although he refrained from sharing a specific timeline for the job creation initiative, the urgency of this endeavour was palpable.

A significant portion of this project will be made possible through Google’s philanthropic arm, working in collaboration with Data Science Nigeria and the Creative Industry Initiative for Africa. This partnership underscores the collective commitment to uplift Nigeria’s digital future.

Vice President Shettima emphasized the harmony between Google’s objectives and the Nigerian government’s aspirations, acknowledging their mutual interest in expanding youth engagement within the digital domain. “Google’s initiative is perfectly in sync with our government’s mission to bolster youth participation in the digital economy,” he stated. He also revealed collaborations with national banks to further propel the initiative.

Detailing Google’s strategy for this significant investment, Olumide Balogun, the Google director for West Africa, shared that apart from the grant, the company aims to enable startups to flourish, an initiative expected to create numerous job opportunities. “Our focus is not only on funds but also on ensuring we equip women and the youth with the necessary digital skills. As they grow, they’ll consequently create jobs,” Balogun commented.

Expressing Google’s broader vision for the continent, Charles Murito, Google Africa’s director of government relations and public policy, stressed their dedication to enhancing Africa’s digital infrastructure. Murito added, “Digital transformation isn’t just about technology. It’s about empowerment, growth, and, crucially, employment.”

In a world increasingly dominated by technology, this partnership between Google and Nigeria promises to pave the way for a brighter, digitally enriched future for the nation’s youth.

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