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00:00:00
>> Technology giant Google has announced that it aims to train ten million Africans in digital skills over the next five years. My name is Alexis Akwagyiram, I'm Senior Reuters Nigeria Correspondent and I'm reporting from Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital. Now, Google's CEO has been in Lagos to unveil the company's expansive plans for African technology training.
00:00:26
Among those plans is an aim to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. And some of this training would be offered in native languages such as Hausa, Swahili and Zulu. Now, Google's CEO is the latest in a number of technology executives to visit Africa over the last year.
00:00:51
The reason is that Africa, as a continent, provides a huge opportunity. Many of the countries on the content have rapidly expanding populations, and mobile adoption has been rapid and huge. Largely because African countries have leapfrogged the stage in personal computing whereby they're using desktops or laptops and they've gone straight for mobile phones.
00:01:13
Now, Nigeria is a classic case in point. Nigeria has Africa's biggest economy, it's Africa's most populous nation. And this country's population is expanding so quickly that it is likely to be, according to UN estimates, the third-most populous country in the world by 2050 after China and India. So it makes Africa, and Nigeria specifically, very, very attractive to technology companies both as a place to create a base for software developers, and also for users.
00:01:45
Now the downside is poor infrastructure and widespread poverty. In Nigeria, 70% of people live on less than $2 a day. And that means that they're limited in their ability to afford expensive smartphones or to access the kind of training that's going to be offered by Google. So that means that countries like India and China, probably for now, offer a better bet.
00:02:08
As does the fact that there is such poor telecommunications infrastructure in African countries.