By OlabIsi Olaleye

Google has pledged to invest $3 million as free equity funding in Africa before the end of this quarter,  and train 10 million Nigerians in the next five years in preparation for accessing a digital economy.

This was disclosed yesterday by Google Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sundar Pichal during a question and answer session at the Google Nigeria’s digital citizenship summit in Lagos.

The CEO, who was visiting Nigeria for the first time said that it became pertinent to support Africa, especially Nigeria because of talents abound in the country saying, “The free funding would help start ups to achieve their dreams and further help increase the GDP of the economy, which currently stood at 10 per cent”. Adding that Google would train over 100,000 software developers who would further adapt content for indigenous use.

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“Basically, Google’s initiatives would focuse on digital skills training, education and economic opportunity, and support for African startups and developers”.

Pichai also disclosed that the future is Nigeria because the improved products from Google, which include YouTube, Search and Maps have been tested in Nigeria, first in Africa and second after India.

Speaking earlier, Google’s Nigeria Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, said by 2034 Africa is expected to have the world’s largest working-age population of 1.1 billion, yet only 3 to 4 million jobs are created annually. 

“That means there’s an urgent need to create opportunities for the millions of people on the continent who are creative, smart and driven to succeed. The internet, and technology as a whole, offer great opportunities for creating jobs, growing businesses and boosting economies. But people need the right skills, tools and products to navigate the digital world and to make it work for them, their businesses and their communities”.

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