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It’s no news that Nigeria is facing an economic downturn. People are getting laid off from their jobs, the Naira is plummeting and things are more expensive. Unemployment rate is high and a lot of people are looking into entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, not many entrepreneurs are equipped to tap into the various resources available. We are at the peak of modern technology and the fact that there are Nigerians who do not possess the ability to keep up with the times and use it for their benefit is worrying. The one thing a majority of Nigerians, and by extension, Africans lack is digital skills. This affects the economic growth of the continent as a whole. We need to be able to think outside the box if we ever hope to grow as a nation.

Google recognises this and has decided to help out. Today, they announced their decision to commit to the digital skills training of one million African youths within the next year. This initiative is the result of a partnership with Livity Africa. The training will comprise of two programs, Digify Bytes and Digify Pro. The first is aimed at young people looking to develop a digital career, while the second is a 3-month immersion program for professionals seeking employment in companies. Both programs are free and will provide tools on a variety of relevant subjects.

digify session

A group of volunteer Googlers from around the world are assisting with the content development and training of tutors, meaning Google will be involved in the whole training process. For now, the programs are running in Nigeria, Kenya & South Africa, but other countries will be able to benefit soon. 

Google also launched, an online portal with digital skills courses available to anyone in Africa for free. Presently, there are nine courses on the site but the site is expected to have up to 50 by July. The courses available on the site are going to be as light as possible so people can worry less about data management.


The growth of any economy is dependent on the people’s ability to be resourceful and also proactive. As it is now, human capacity for Africa is low and labour productivity is not encouraging. Google providing access for youths to financially empower themselves with the use of digital skills is a great way to boost labour productivity. Countless things can be done online if only there were the people who had the skill, and Google seems to understand this. In the words of Google Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, “The internet is at the heart of economic growth and the Digital Skills Program is aimed at helping more Africans play a part in the digital economy. Everyone can succeed online, start a new business, grow their existing one, or share their passion.”

Tola Agunbiade Author

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