With Google reaching its target of upgrading the digital skills of one-million people across Africa ahead of its 12-month deadline, it now seeks to expand its offerings offline and in different languages.
The Digital Skills programme, launched last year, offers 89 courses through the online portal, while Google’s 14 partnerships enable face-to-face training options in more than 20 countries.
In April last year, the company committed to extending digital skills training to one-million Africans within a year by expanding its digital training initiative to a free-of-charge online training platform.
By October, Google announced the milestone of having equipped 500 000 Africans with a range of digital skills, including Web analytics, social media management and mobile marketing.
Now Google will provide offline versions of its online training materials to reach individuals and businesses outside urban areas where it is unable to hold physical training sessions, as well as provide offline versions of the content in languages like Swahili, IsiZulu and Hausa.
“Offline training is currently available across Africa. We have 700-plus individuals across the region that deliver content on a daily basis. However, for those in areas where there are no sessions being held and where access to the Internet might be challenging to take courses online, we are working on making the online courses available through offline kits. We plan to begin to pilot this by June 2017,” Google sub-Saharan Africa growth and brand lead Bunmi Banjo.
“The programme will also be addressing the needs of small business owners, who are looking to better understand how to take advantage of the Web across Africa. Google will add Web-focused skills training for small and medium-sized enterprises across Africa as part of this initiative,” said Google South Africa country director Luke Mckend.