By Enyichukwu Enemanna
At least 20,000 Nigerian youths will benefit from a planned digital skills training by tech giant, Google, an empowerment that would be followed up with a grant of 1.2 billion naira ($1.6 million), its executives in Africa said on Tuesday.
The fund is provided to enable the government create one million digital jobs across the country.
At a meeting with Google Africa executives in Abuja, Nigerian Vice President, Kashim Shettima said the most populous African country aims to create digital jobs for its teeming youth population but did not provide a timeline for creating the jobs.
Google Africa executives said a grant from its philanthropic arm in partnership with Data Science Nigeria and the Creative Industry Initiative for Africa will facilitate the programme.
Shettima said Google’s initiative aligned with the government’s commitment to increase youth participation in the digital economy.
The government is also working with the country’s banks on the project, Shettima a former governor of north east Borno State added.
Google director for West Africa Olumide Balogun said the company would commit funds and provide digital skills to women and young people in Nigeria and also enable startups to grow, which will create jobs.
Also speaking at the meeting, Charles Murito, Google Africa’s director of government relations and public policy, said the company is committed to investing in digital infrastructure across Africa, noting that digital transformation can be a job enabler.