DigitalskillsforAfrica: Over 500,000 people in Africa trained

Six months ago, when we announced our commitment to train 1 million Africans on digital skills within a year, we knew it was going to be a tough task. People across Africa are thirsty to explore how to take better advantage of the internet and the opportunities it offers; but frameworks that provide digital skills training on the continent are few and far between.

Fast forward 6 months, and we’re proud to update that we’ve reached the halfway mark. Over 500,000 Africans have received training that will enable them to build businesses, create jobs and boost economic growth across the continent.

For people who are unable to attend face-to-face training sessions and who want to acquire digital skills in their own time from their own phone or computer, we’re launching a new Digital Skills Africa online portal. The portal contains 89 online lessons on a wide range of digital subjects including web analytics, social media management and mobile marketing. Available in English and French and in the near future in Portuguese, we hope the portal will enable more people in more African countries to make the most of the web. The training is available to anyone, and people who complete the program will receive a Certificate of Online Proficiency.

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One of our trainees, Esalako Hillary from Nairobi, signed up for the digital skills program to learn how to use online tools to promote his new company Entrevene Africa – a social enterprise that encourages entrepreneurship amongst university students. After the training he realized that, in addition to promoting his company, he could also offer a digital marketing service as an additional offering to his clients. Four months later, and Esalako and his team have expanded their business and grown their revenues by over 60%.

Vanessa Morris, a journalism graduate from Nigeria had never heard about the term ‘digital marketing’ before she was invited to one of the digital skills courses by a friend. She decided to pursue a career in digital marketing after the training, and has since taken up a social media manager role with a top production company in Nigeria. In Vanessa’s words, “the best thing about this is that I now earn a lot more money doing a job that I really love.”

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A recent Digital Skills training session at City Hall in Johannesburg, S. Africa

Helping people in Africa take advantage of the web is a task for everyone, and we’re very grateful to the many partners and collaborators that have given their support and played important roles in helping to get the program this far. We hope that through this and similar programs, Africans will begin to reap greater benefits from the internet.

Here’s to the next 500,000 African digital entrepreneurs!

Posted by Bunmi Banjo, Head of the Africa Digital Skills Program

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