Over the next five years, Google plans to train 10 million people in Africa in online skills to prepare them for “jobs of the future,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said at a Google for Nigeria conference on Thursday.

This African training effort is an extension of an initiative the firm launched in April 2016, when Google initially set out to train 1 million people. Google met that goal in March 2017, so it has expanded the program.

Additionally, Google wants to train 100,000 software developers in the African countries of Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, according to a company spokesperson cited by Reuters.

SEE: The Successful Web Developer Roadmap (TechRepublic Academy)

Training will be offered both online and in-person. A big focus will be to extend the reach of the effort outside of urban centers, a Google blog post said.

The offline trainings will be conducted in the African languages of Swahili, IsiZulu, and Hausa, the post said. Regular, face-to-face meetups will happen with partners in the community, in order to drive engagement in the program. Additionally, Google is committing to making sure at least 40% of the people trained in the programs are women. Offline versions of online training materials will be provided to people in hard-to-reach areas where physical trainings can’t be held.

The focus of the training will be to help these 10 million people in Africa “learn to build a web presence, use Search to find jobs, get tips to enhance their CV, use social media, and so on,” the post said.

By 2034, the post noted, Africa’s working-age population is expected to hit 1.1 billion, the largest in the world. Despite this statistic, only 3 to 4 million jobs are created there annually. The internet and emerging technologies present new opportunities for creating jobs, building businesses, and boosting the economy, the post said.

As part of the announcement, Google.org also unveiled a commitment of $20 million to nonprofits to improve the lives of the people living there. Google also announced a new accelerator for businesses and updates to the performance of its products in the region.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Google has announced that it will train 10 million people in Africa in online skills over the next five years, expanding on an existing initiative in the continent.
  2. Google is also planning on training 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa as well.
  3. Trainings will be held online and offline, with the goal of improving economic opportunities for people across the continent.