Google says it has trained one million Africans across Africa under its Digital Skills Programme in the last 11 months.

The Country Manager Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor said this in a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday.

“On April 16, 2016, Google committed itself to training of one million Africans on digital skills within a year.

“Today, it confirmed that it has reached its target early, and has set itself to train even more Africans in digital skills in the coming year.

“In addition to the new target, Google is extending its commitment to the Digital Skills programme by assisting local communities further in several ways.

First, Google will provide offline versions of its online training materials to reach individuals and businesses in low access areas where it is unable to hold physical training sessions.

“Additionally, Google will provide offline versions of the content in languages like Hausa, Swahili and IsiZulu,” she said.

Ehimuan-Chiazor said that the Digital Skills programme offered 89 courses through the online portal, and Google worked with 14 training partners covering more than 20 countries to offer face to face training.

She said that the programme would also be addressing needs for small business owners looking to better understand how to take advantage of the web across Africa.

According to her, Google will add web-focused skills training for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across Africa as part of this initiative.

“The Web is a driver of economic growth, and is transforming society as a whole.

“People must be equipped through training and re-skilling to make use of the tools, and take advantage of it for entrepreneurship, employment and e-inclusion,” Ehimuan-Chiazor said.

The Google country manager said that their goal with this and previous web training initiatives were to enable more people across the continent better understand how to leverage the Web tools for growth.

She said that it was also to give people access to better employment or the skills to start their own businesses.

“A digitally skilled Africa is good for everyone, for our economy, for entrepreneurs and individuals. And yes, good for internet companies like Google,” she said.

Ms Bunmi Banjo, the Growth Engine & Brand Lead, Sub-Saharan Africa said “Having one-million digitally skilled young people in Africa is good for everyone.

“If young people have the right skills, they will build businesses, create jobs and boost economic growth across the continent.

“As we expand this initiative to reach more local areas across the continent, we hope to see more impact in everyday lives of Africans,” she said.

The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja gave grants of seventy million naira (N70m) to fifty six inventors to enable them improve and mass produce their inventions.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has called for the empowerment of women and the encouragement of girls to learn and research into science.

UNESCO said this will enable the world realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and make the world a better place to live by 2030.

Microsoft is ready to assist in reducing barriers to learning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in schools across Nigeria.

This was disclosed by a Microsoft official, Ms Jordan Bel-Monte, on Friday. Bel-Monte, who is the Microsoft Education Programme Manager, gave the assurance during the 2nd edition of the Microsoft and Fliplearn creativity in learning event held in Lagos.

The world urgently needs more female engineers and computer programmers, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has said.

UNESCO stated this in its Science Report: Towards 2030”, released ahead of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, marked annually on Feb. 11.

The Nigerian Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) on Thursday said it would equip 1000 youths from Kaduna State with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills for free.

Ms Onyedikachi Aruma,  Head, Kaduna Centre, said that the gesture was to give back to the society as part of NIIT’s Corporate Social Responsibility.

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says there is the need to meet the growing demand for technical skills and develop a workforce that would speak a universal digital language, to solve socio-economic problems confronting the society.