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Google to train 20 000 women across Africa this year

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Google SA head of marketing Asha Patel.
Google SA head of marketing Asha Patel.

Google has committed to train 20 000 women in ICT and entrepreneurship by the end of this year, as part of its Women Will training tour.

Women Will is a global initiative aimed at creating economic opportunities for women in various parts of the globe by equipping them with digital literacy, entrepreneurship, workplace readiness, and leadership skills.

The training tour aims to initially train 5 000 women in 20 cities across Africa in March and April.

A further 15 000 women will be trained through community-driven training initiatives led by Women Will chapters across the continent, according to a statement.

“On International Women’s Day in 2019, Google announced the launch of Women Will, Google’s initiative to create opportunities for women, in Africa under the Grow with Google umbrella,” says Google SA head of marketing, Asha Patel.

“Since then, we have reached more than 10 000 women across eight countries and 26 communities. With 26 chapters across Africa, Women Will has helped create access to networks, skills and opportunities for women across the continent.”

According to a 2012 World Development Report, women account for 40% of the global labor force and are more likely to work in less productive sectors than their male counterparts.

A similar report by UN Women also shows that women are more likely to be unemployed than men. Based on historical data, 2017 global unemployment rates stood at 5.5% for women relative to 6.2% for men and this is projected to remain unchanged till 2021.

“Empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps are key to achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and sustainable development goals, particularly to achieve gender equality, to promote full and productive employment and decent work for all and reducing inequalities,” adds Patel.

Since 2016, Google says it has worked to upskill youth and SMEs throughout Africa through its Digital Skills for Africa programme aimed at helping them find employment opportunities and grow their businesses.

“Google remains committed to providing a platform for women to achieve their potential and to grow. Our digital skills training has been offered in 29 countries across Africa, with over 60% of trainees having confirmed recording business growth, starting new businesses, finding jobs or growing in their current jobs. To date, we have trained more than 5 million people, 48% of which are women,”notes Patel.

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