The chief executive officer of Google Incorporated, Sundar Pichai, has said his company has a program to train over 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, and would prepare 10 million Africans for jobs in the next five years. He disclosed this in a conference held in Lagos, yesterday.
This disclosure is an extension of an initiative Google inaugurated in April 2016 to train young Africans in digital skills. Google earlier announced in March that it had reached its initial target of training one million people.
According to Premium Times report, the company said a combination of in-person and online training would be offered in Swahili, Hausa and Zulu languages. It also noted that at least 40 percent of people trained are women.
Mr. Pichai said: “Nigerians have to write software for the local economy and we have a program to train over 100,000 software developers in Nigeria.”
The company also pledged a commitment of over $20 million in the next five years for non-profit organisations in Africa.
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Google also announced plans to provide more than $3 million in equity-free funding, mentorship and working space access to more than 60 African start-ups over three years.
The company also launched some new products in Africa, starting with Nigeria. The products are; Posts With Google, Gboard, Google Street View, Launchpad Accelerator and the YouTube Go.
With the launch of Posts with Google, Nigeria is the third country in the world after the United States and Brazil to have the application. The product enables up-to-date posts from verified people, places or things, to appear directly in search results.
A statement by Google said, “museums, sports teams, sports leagues, and movies in the US, and all of the above plus musicians in Brazil and Nigeria are the only ones with access to the new product, however experimentation is ongoing in other regions of the world.”
The Gboard is a keyboard specially designed to make it easy to type in Nigerian languages like Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba with the proper alphabets readily available.
Google also unveiled an improved search engine capable of saving 90 percent data, which is five times faster with faster web pages from search results.
Users can also view any location in the world in a video form from their devices with the newly launched Google Street View.
Suhen Ruhela said: “Google maps are just as relevant to a user in Lagos as it is in London. You can view the streets of Lagos from the comfort of your couch.”
The company indicated that YouTube Go was built on four pillars which is relatable, connected, cost effective and Social. Also, YouTube Go will give users control over the videos they love.
According to Johanna Wright, vice president of YouTube, YouTube Go was being tested in Nigeria as of June, and the trial version of the app will be offered globally later this year.
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Also speaking, Google Country Director for Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, said Nigeria ranked number one among African users and the eighth in the world.
It was learnt that other side attractions at the event was a live performance by rising Nigerian musician, Adekunle Gold, and the presentation of a plaque to Popular Nigerian YouTube personality, Mark Angel Comedy for hitting one million subscribers on his YouTube account.